Ardian Is Said to Hire Banks to Weigh Sale of Germany's Riemser

  • Specialty drugmaker could fetch more than $590 million in sale
  • Buyout firms and drugmakers may be interesting in Riemser

French buyout firm Ardian is exploring a sale of German specialty pharmaceutical company Riemser Pharma GmbH amid consolidation in the industry, according to people familiar with the matter.

A sale of Riemser could fetch about 500 million euros ($592 million) and attract interest from other drugmakers as well as private-equity firms, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. Ardian has hired investment banks Rothschild & Co. and Jefferies to help find a buyer for the business, the people said.

Sale considerations are preliminary and Ardian may still decide to keep the business, the people said. Riemser didn’t respond to calls and emails seeking comment. A Jefferies spokeswoman declined to comment, while Rothschild and Ardian didn’t have an immediate comment.

Riemser, based in Greifswald, Germany, focuses on therapeutic areas such as rheumatology, infectious diseases, oncology, dermatology and cardiovascular diseases. The company has expanded in recent years via acquisitions such as that of France’s Keocyt in 2014 and U.K.-based Intrapharm Laboratories Ltd. a year later, according to its website. Ardian bought Riemser in 2012.

German drugmakers and private equity firms have been active players in mergers and acquisitions this year. Bain Capital and Cinven beat out other suitors to buy generic-drug maker Stada Arzneimittel AG after a roller-coaster takeover battle, while Merck KGaA is considering the sale of all or part of its consumer health division amid competition from bigger rivals.

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