Concordia Is Working With Greenhill to Seek Buyout Bidders

  • Drugmaker said to contact Apollo, TPG to gauge interest
  • Canadian company is considering strategic alternatives

Concordia Healthcare Corp. is working with Greenhill & Co. as it seeks potential private equity bidders, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Canadian drugmaker and its advisers have contacted buyout firms including Apollo Global Management LLC and TPG to gauge their interest in a possible takeover, the people said, asking not to be identified as the discussions are private. Talks are still in the early stages and the firms may choose not to make an offer, the people said.

Toronto-based Concordia said last week it had formed a special committee of the board to consider strategic alternatives, after Bloomberg reported it had held talks with Blackstone Group LP.

Representatives for Blackstone, Concordia, Greenhill and TPG declined to comment. A spokesman for Apollo didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Concordia last year agreed to buy Amdipharm Mercury Ltd. in a deal valued at about $3.5 billion, part of an acquisition spree that’s seen it spend almost $5 billion on transactions since 2013. Its growth-by-acquisition strategy has drawn comparisons with that of its larger peer Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.

In a transaction related to the Amdipharm deal, Concordia agreed to sell a 14 percent stake to buyout firm Cinven in October.

Chief Executive Officer Mark Thompson said at the time the Amdipharm deal would give the drugmaker the global scale it needs to go after larger targets. Thompson worked for Biovail Corp. before its 2010 merger with Valeant.

Shares in the company had fallen about 69 percent since the Amdipharm deal before paring some of those losses on the news of the talks with Blackstone. Prior to the news, investors had grown concerned about the company’s debt levels and that it had become a target for short sellers.

The company also got caught up the wake of the crisis at Valeant and the increased scrutiny on the pharmaceutical sector. Several U.S. officials have criticized the industry, including U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who has promised stricter regulations on what she called “predatory pricing” on prescription drugs.

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