• Novartis' Sandoz also may make bid for U.S. generics unit
  • Sale of generics portfolio may fetch as much as $800 million

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Cipla Ltd. are among drugmakers exploring bids for a portfolio of U.S. generic products Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. is selling, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Novartis AG’s generics unit Sandoz is also among about 30 companies weighing offers for the portfolio, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. Second-round bids are due this week and the sale could fetch from $500 million to $800 million, one of the people said.

Teva needs to sell a range of overlapping generic drugs in order to gain antitrust approval for its $40.5 billion purchase of Allergan Plc’s generics business. The portfolio contains about 35 generic products for the U.S. market, including oral solids, capsules, soft gels and hormones, one of the people said.

Generic drug manufacturers in India are seeking deals in the U.S. to gain a stronger foothold there. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s increased scrutiny of overseas manufacturers has made it harder to get approvals in the world’s biggest pharmaceutical market -- and acquisitions are increasingly seen as a way of boosting growth.

For Switzerland’s Novartis, a deal for the Teva portfolio would be in line with its plans to seek more acquisitions and licensing deals, including for its Sandoz unit, as Chief Executive Officer Joe Jimenez said Oct. 27. Novartis agreed to acquire Admune Therapeutics LLC last month.

Representatives for Sun Pharmaceutical, Novartis, Glenmark, Cipla, and Teva declined to comment.

Teva is working with financial advisory firm Greenhill & Co. on the generics sale, people familiar with the matter said in September.

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