Teva, Actavis remain in contest for Ratiopharm

And then there were two: Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Actavis Group are said to be the last two bidders standing for a final round in the battle for German generics maker Ratiopharm. Sources tell Bloomberg that private-equity group EQT--which had been working with ex-Ratiopharm chief Claudio Albrecht on a bid--is no longer in the running. The bid ranged between 2.5 billion and 3 billion euros, or $3.4 billion to $4.1 billion.

The Merckle family is selling Ratiopharm to raise cash for repaying debt. As Bloomberg points out, the sale is set to be the biggest generic company buyout since Teva bought Barr Pharmaceuticals for $7.4 billion in 2008.

The bidding for Ratiopharm had reportedly attracted interest from some of the biggest names in pharma, including Sanofi-Aventis and Pfizer, not to mention other private equity firms besides EQT. Now that the bidders have been whittled down to two, sources are expecting Ratiopharm to pick a buyer as early as next month.

- read the Bloomberg piece