Clessidra, Avista Said to Buy Half of Italy’s Rottapharm

Rottapharm Madaus, a family-owned Italian drugmaker, agreed to sell a 50 percent stake to private equity firms Clessidra Capital Partners and Avista Capital Partners in a deal that values the company at about 1.7 billion euros ($2.2 billion), people with knowledge of the sale said.

An agreement was reached in the past few days, said one person, who declined to be identified because the negotiations were private. The two firms, which bid jointly, will each own 25 percent of Rottapharm, the people said.

The sale ends a months-long effort by the Rovati family to find an outside investor for the company, which is based in the northern town of Monza. Rottapharm, founded in 1961, had sales of about 600 million euros in 2010, according to its website. The company expanded abroad through deals including the purchase of Germany’s Madaus Pharma in 2007 and now operates in more than 85 countries.

Spokeswomen for Rottapharm and Clessidra, based in Italy, declined to comment. A representative of U.S. firm Avista was not immediately available for comment.

Rottapharm sells Dona, a glucosamine product used to promote healthy joints, nitroglycerine for heart patients and a respiratory treatment, Mucoflux.

Private equity firms Carlyle Group, Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP and Advent International Corp. also submitted bids for Rottapharm, four people familiar with the situation said in December. One or two drugmakers also submitted an offer, one person said at the time.

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