Teva attracts attention from pharma, private equity for $500M sale of Medis: Bloomberg

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Teva has been working to pay down its debt after its massive Allergan generics buy in 2016. (Pixabay)

Teva has been working to pay down tens of billions of dollars of debt since it purchased Allergan’s generics suite for more than $40 billion. Now, the company's Medis unit has attracted attention from industry players and private equity firms, according to Bloomberg.

A second round of bidding has begun for Medis, an Iceland-based outfit that develops generic drugs for other pharmaceutical companies that could be worth $500 million in a sale, according to the news service. Interested buyers include Recipharm, Brazil’s EMS and private equity firms, and a buyer could be identified by year's end, sources tell the publication.

Teva last year said it was weighing a sale of the business. At the time, a spokesperson said "Teva is looking at every opportunity to focus our business and streamline operations, processes and structure.” A sale would be contingent on reaching a deal and achieving regulatory approval, the company's representative added.

Along with Medis, Teva last year reportedly put some respiratory products up for sale. At the time, Bloomberg reported the products could attract offers of $500 million to $2 billion.

Last fall, as it continued to work to pay down debt, Teva offloaded its women’s health offerings in a series of deals worth nearly $2.5 billion.

Teva’s move to sell certain business units comes after its massive Allergan generics buy in 2016. After that, things have taken a serious turn for the worse for the drugmaker. Generic prices have eroded in the U.S., forcing the company to reduce its sales guidance by more than $1 billion twice. The company has also had to kick off a massive round of downsizing, shut down plants and slash its dividend.

But efforts to cut its debt led by new CEO Kåre Schultz have drawn praise from analysts. Just last week, the Israeli drugmaker said it would slash it further with a tender offer to pay up to $400 million of notes that were due in 2019 and 2020.