Hoping to land on its feet after a tough year, Stada will soon be under new leadership. Investment firms Bain and Cinven announced their plans to select drug industry veteran Claudio Albrecht for the post, following more than a year of developments at the German company that were disappointing, dramatic and just plain strange.
After its €5.3 billion ($6.3 billion) buyout from Bain and Cinven fell short back in July, the drugmaker brought in former Boehringer Ingelheim executive Engelbert Coster Tjeenk Willink to serve as interim CEO. Bernhard Düttmann, a financial veteran, was named interim CFO. Bain and Cinven have since sweetened their offer and the companies are now working to win enough shareholder support to close the deal. They announced the Albrecht nomination on Friday.
Albrecht is a former CEO of two European generic firms, according to Bloomberg.
Stada’s dramatic year has featured the exit of longtime CEO Hartmut Retzlaff last June due to a “serious, long-term illness.” When his successor Mattias Wiedenfels took the helm, he quickly stripped Retzlaff’s son of some duties and fired company advisors.
The company has meanwhile dealt with with activist investor attention from Active Ownership Capital, which pushed to replace board members with its own candidates. After significant drama, the company nearly finished a deal to sell itself to Bain Capital and Cinven this year, but couldn’t win enough shareholder support.
As for the weird, Wiedenfels discovered he was the target of a spying operation as deal talks heated up, according to a report from Manager Magazin. According to that publication, the former helmsman found a recording device in his car and received photographs of himself in personal or private business situations.
Editor's note: This story was updated after Bain and Cinven announced their CEO decision on Friday.