Evonik Said to Be Among Suitors for Patch Maker Lohmann

Evonik Industries AG, a German chemicals maker that listed shares in April, is among the companies considering a bid for nicotine-patch maker LTS Lohmann Therapie-Systeme AG, valued at more than 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion), according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Evonik is in talks with Morgan Stanley, which is preparing the sale process for the German maker of plasters that deliver drugs through the skin, said the people, who asked not to be identified because details of the auction are private.

LTS Lohmann, co-owned by Novartis AG, SAP AG co-founder Dietmar Hopp and German investment company BWK, has also attracted interest from private equity firms including EQT Partners AB, Nordic Capital and BC Partners Ltd., the people said.

After years of disposals, Evonik’s Chief Executive Officer Klaus Engel is trying to take the company into new higher-margin areas and expand its nutrition and health portfolio. The Essen-based company scaled back plans for an initial public offering, listing 14 percent of its shares largely through a private placement in April.

The sale process for LTS Lohmann is in the initial stages, the people said. The Andernach, Germany-based company employs more than 1,000 people and describes itself as the global leader in the development and manufacturing of transdermal systems and oral thin films. Its patches are also used to deliver drugs against Parkinson’s and Restless-Legs-Syndrome.

Evonik, BC Partners and Morgan Stanley declined to comment. An official at EQT couldn’t immediately comment and representatives for LTS Lohmann and Nordic Capital couldn’t be reached.