Omega Pharma NV, the Belgian over-the-counter health-care company, has attracted interest from companies including Perrigo Co. and Germany’s Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, according to people familiar with the matter.
Bayer AG and Sanofi may also join other bidders looking at Nazareth, Belgium-based Omega Pharma, the people said, asking not to be identified because the process is private. The sale, which is still in early stages, could fetch more than 4 billion euros ($5.3 billion), the people said. Omega Pharma is working with Morgan Stanley, Bloomberg News reported last month.
Omega Pharma, which makes drugs including painkiller Solpadeine, was taken private from the Brussels stock exchange by founder and Chief Executive Officer Marc Coucke with Waterland Private Equity Investments BV and several co-investors in February 2012, after 13 years as a public company. The deal valued the company, which sponsors the Omega Pharma-Quick-Step cycling team, at 848 million euros.
Representatives at Perrigo, Sanofi, Boehringer and Bayer declined to comment, and Omega Pharma didn’t respond to requests for comment. A spokesman at Morgan Stanley declined to comment.
Perrigo shares advanced 0.8 percent to $150.03 yesterday in New York, reversing earlier trading losses.
Omega Pharma’s operating profit for the first six months of 2014 was 130.1 million euros, an increase of 60 percent from the same period last year, according to a statement. Operating profit for the whole of 2013 was 137.7 million euros, according to the company’s annual report, and net sales were 1.2 billion euros.
Omega Pharma Invest NV, formerly known as Couckinvest NV, is the main shareholder with an almost 88 percent stake, the annual report shows. The company holds the rest of the shares as treasury stock.