Private equity owner seeks $510M-plus deal for Germany's Aenova

Drugmakers looking to diversify have another prospect to consider. Private equity firm Bridgepoint wants to sell Germany's Aenova, which makes vitamins and and generic drugs. The asking price? More than €400 million, or about $510 million.

Aenova is the agglomeration of Swiss Caps, which made capsule-based supplements and drugs, and Dragenopharm, a German contract manufacturer of prescription drugs. Bridgepoint put the two together in 2008. Now, it has 9 locations in Switzerland, Germany, France, Romania and the U.S., and it employs about 1,600, Reuters says.

Bridgepoint has tapped Morgan Stanley to run an auction set for the fall, sources tell Reuters. Other vitamin-makers such as BASF and private equity firms are considered likely bidders. Drugmakers might check out the deal, too; with patents expiring left and right, some companies have turned to generics and nutritional supplements to, well, supplement their sales.

The company recently consolidated all of its sales and distribution activities, bringing together pharma and consumer healthcare channels. In February, it added a development lab in Switzerland to its portfolio.

- read the Reuters piece