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Indian, Chinese drugmakers eye Sanofi's European generics unit for $2B deal: report

January 12, 2018
Life sciences

As Sanofi looks to reshape itself and offload its European generics business, it’s reportedly getting some interest around the globe for an outfit that analysts believe could fetch $2 billion.

Indian drugmakers Aurobindo, Zydus Cadila, Torrent Pharma and Intas have considered a buy, according to the Economic Times. Elsewhere, a Chinese drugmaker and private equity firms are said to be interested, according to the Indian newspaper.

For its pursuit of the company, Zydus Cadila has teamed with European private equity firm Apax Partners, ET reports. Temasek and Chrys Capital are supporting Intas’ run at the business.

As part of Sanofi CEO Olivier Brandicourt’s review of the global drug giant, Sanofi in March said it would sell off the outfit that generated €571 million in the first nine months of 2017. During Sanofi’s J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference presentation this week in San Francisco, Brandicourt reiterated the company’s intention to announce a deal by the end of the year.

Sanofi has said it remains committed to generics in other countries and will particularly focus on emerging markets. Brandicourt is also seeking to cut €1.5 billion in annual expenses after coming on board in 2015.

All of the moves come as competitive pressures eat away at Sanofi’s sales in diabetes. In the generics world, consolidation by payers has created intense pricing pressure in the U.S., and top players such as Teva Pharmaceutical Industries have seen the effects in their sales. As a result, the generics industry is experiencing consolidation of its own.

While Sanofi is looking to sell a unit of its own, the company fell short in two acquisition attempts over the last year. First, it went after Actelion and lost to Johnson & Johnson in a $30 billion deal. The drugmaker then pursued Medivation, which ultimately sold to Pfizer for $14 billion. Brandicourt also offloaded the drugmaker’s Merial outfit to Boehringer Ingelheim in a 2016 asset swap; Sanofi picked up BI’s consumer health assets in return.

By Eric Sagonowsky

Source: Fierce Pharma

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