Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Drugmaker Stada Said to Hire Goldman Sachs to Advise on Strategy

  • Company said to seek advice on investors, potential defense
  • German generics maker is being targeted by activist investor

Stada Arzneimittel AG, the German generic drugmaker facing pressure from an activist investor, has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to help advise on strategy, according to people familiar with the matter.

The U.S. investment bank is providing advice on a range of issues including relations with its top shareholders and defense against a possible takeover bid, said the people, who asked not to be identified because talks are private.

The strategy review comes after Active Ownership Capital Sarl amassed a 7 percent stake through direct and indirect holdings and pushed for a board shakeup. Stada has previously drawn interest from drugmakers and, more recently, buyout firms as pricing pressure encourages consolidation in the the industry, the people said.

Spokesmen for Stada and Goldman Sachs declined to comment. On June 20, German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that Stada has commissioned a U.S. investment bank without identifying the firm.

Earlier in June, Stada Chief Executive Officer Hartmut Retzlaff took a medical leave to deal with a “serious, long-term illness.” Matthias Wiedenfels, who has led corporate development and central services since 2013, agreed to take on the role and oversee corporate strategy, communications and corporate production.

Stada will renew its supervisory board two years early after being pressured by Active Ownership to replace five board members. Stada postponed its annual meeting by more than two months to Aug. 26 and has proposed replacing three board members in response.

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