Italy’s Recordati Said to Weigh Options Amid Asian Interest

  • Family-owned drugmaker has market value of 6.1 billion euros
  • Recordati may attract interest from other pharmaceutical firms

Family-owned Italian drugmaker Recordati SpA is exploring strategic options that may lead to a sale amid potential interest from Asian buyers, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Milan-based company, which is run by Chief Executive Officer Giovanni Recordati and Chief Operating Officer Andrea Recordati, is informally speaking with advisers who are gauging interest among possible bidders, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. A spokeswoman for Recordati said the owners aren’t planning a sale of their controlling stake.

The Recordati family owns a 51 percent stake in the company, which has a market value of 6.1 billion euros ($6.8 billion), according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The business has attracted interest from Chinese buyers, one of the people said. If the family proceeds with a sale, it would also likely draw Asian, European and U.S. drugmakers, the people said. Still, Recordati’s size will limit the number of buyers who can take on the business, they said. There is no formal process underway and the family may decide against a sale, they said.

“It makes sense that management would look at possible options, with the stock trading at record highs,” Pierre Corby, a Paris-based analyst at Oddo & Cie. who has a “buy” recommendation on Recordati, said by phone Tuesday. “It’s a palatable target thanks to its large footprint in western and eastern Europe and northern Africa.”

Founding Family

Recordati shares declined 1.4 percent to 28.95 euros at 11:22 a.m. in Milan trading Tuesday. The stock was trading Monday at the highest level since at least 1998. Recordati has gained 28 percent over the past year, making it the third-best performer on the 21-member Bloomberg Europe Pharmaceutical Index.

The company has been led by the family since it was founded in 1926, according to its website. Giovanni Recordati, 66, was named CEO in 1990 after joining in 1974 as a researcher. The family holds its shares though Fimei SpA.

Recordati reported first-half net income that rose 19 percent to 122.7 million euros as sales climbed 9.1 percent to 587.9 million euros. The company acquired Italian pharmaceutical company Italchimici SpA in May for about 130 million euros. In July, it acquired Swiss drugmaker Pro Farma AG for about 16 million Swiss francs ($16.5 million).

Earlier Tuesday, Recordati said it signed an exclusive license agreement with Budapest-based drugmaker Richter Gedeon Nyrt. for the distribution of cariprazine, a schizophrenia therapy, in western Europe, Algeria, Tunisia and Turkey.

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