Bloomberg News

Biofarma Auction Said to End After Talks Break Down on Price

November 16, 2011

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Biofarma Pharmaceutical Industry Co.’s owners have ended an effort to find a buyer for the Turkish drugmaker, people with knowledge of the process said.

The owners were unable to agree on a price with prospective bidders, said the people, declining to be identified because the discussions were private. Three multinational companies including GlaxoSmithKline Plc were interested in Biofarma, people with knowledge of the matter said in April. The process was called off more than a month ago, one of the people said.

Biofarma is owned by Citi Venture Capital International, a unit of Citigroup Inc., as well as by Partners in Life Sciences and the Greek private-equity firm Global Finance. Biofarma, an Istanbul-based maker of generic drugs, has been valued at between $600 million and $700 million, one person said in April.

The owners could resume the sale process at a later stage, one of the people said. They had hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. to manage the sale, people said.

Spokesmen for Citigroup, Glaxo and Biofarma declined to comment.

Bayer AG, Glaxo, Novartis AG, AstraZeneca Plc and more than 30 other international drugmakers operate in Turkey, a pharmaceutical market with $9.2 billion of sales last year, according to the website of the Istanbul-based Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Turkey.

The Citigroup unit and Partners in Life Sciences bought the company from its Turkish owners in 2006 and sold a stake to Greek private-equity firm Global Finance in 2007.

--With assistance from Ercan Ersoy in Istanbul. Editors: Chris V. Nicholson, Phil Serafino

To contact the reporters on this story: Albertina Torsoli in Paris at atorsoli@bloomberg.net; Jacqueline Simmons in Paris at jackiem@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jacqueline Simmons at jackiem@bloomberg.net


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