April 16 (Bloomberg) -- Nordic Capital, a Stockholm-based private-equity firm, is leading bidders for LTS Lohmann Therapie-Systeme AG, which would end a nearly yearlong attempt to sell the German nicotine-patch maker, people with knowledge of the matter said.
The Swedish firm may reach a deal to buy LTS Lohmann for about 1.2 billion euros ($1.7 billion) within the next month ahead of French investment firm Wendel SA, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.
The sales process has dragged out as LTS Lohmann’s three owners struggle to agree on a price at which they would be prepared to sell the business, the people said. The company employs more than 1,100 people and makes transdermal systems and oral thin films.
Novartis AG, SAP AG co-founder Dietmar Hopp and German investment company BWK initially put LTS Lohmann up for sale last July when they hired Morgan Stanley. The company has drawn interest from the two investment firms as well as chemicals maker Evonik Industries AG, the people said.
The discussions stalled after Wendel balked at paying as much as 1.3 billion euros for LTS Lohmann, the people said. Evonik held talks to buy the company and then dropped out in February, the people said. Wendel could still try and top Nordic’s offer, one of the people said.
Representatives for Nordic Capital, Novartis and BWK declined to comment. An official at LTS Lohmann couldn’t immediately comment when reached by telephone and didn’t respond to an e-mailed request for comment.
LTS Lohmann is based in Andernach, Germany, and employs more than 1,100 people. The company manufactures Novartis’s Exelon patch, which is used in treating symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. They also make drug delivery systems for Parkinson’s and contraception, according to the website.
Nordic, a Stockholm-based firm that specializes in buying companies in Scandinavian and German-speaking countries, raised 3.5 billion euros for its eighth buyout fund, Nordic Capital Fund VIII in December.
Private-equity firms typically pool money from pension plans and endowments with a mandate to buy companies within five to six years, then sell them and return the money and a profit after 10 years. The firms usually charge a management fee of as much as 2 percent and keep 20 percent of the profits from investments.
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