Galenica Working With Centerview on M&A Plans, Separating Vifor

  • Centerview has been advising Swiss company for 10 years
  • Galenica is seeking assets for Vifor in Switzerland, Europe

Galenica AG is working with investment bank Centerview Partners on potential acquisitions as well as plans to split up the Swiss company and sell shares in its pharmaceutical unit Vifor.

The owner of Switzerland’s biggest pharmacy network is looking for assets both in its home country and the rest of Europe to bolster Vifor’s portfolio of iron-deficiency and infectious-disease treatments, Chief Financial Officer Joerg Kneubuehler said by phone on Wednesday. The acquisitions would be in the treatment areas of nephrology, gastroenterology or cardiology, and aim to increase access to hospitals, he said.

Chairman Etienne Jornod in July said that Galenica may accelerate plans to sell shares in Vifor Pharma, which reached an exclusive licensing agreement in May with Roche Holding AG to sell iron-deficiency drug Mircera in the U.S. That deal may help Vifor generate sales of about 1 billion francs ($1.02 billion) as early as next year, he said at the time.

The company had initially said in August 2014 that it would aim to list the Vifor unit in three to five years. At that time, Galenica introduced a new management structure, with separate CEOs for Vifor Pharma and Galenica Sante, to prepare for the separation into two publicly traded companies.

Galenica is also keen on further acquisitions or partnership agreements to help bolster Vifor’s pipeline of products before making it independent, Jornod said this July.

The company has been working with Centerview for about 10 years, Kneubuehler said. The investment bank didn’t immediately return a phone call or e-mail seeking comment.