Altana to sell pharmaceutical division in €4.5bn deal

A Danish drug company owned by private equity firms The Blackstone Group, Nordic Capital and CSFB Private Equity will buy the pharmaceutical division of German company Altana for €4.5bn.

Nycomed Holding, a Danish pharmaceutical company owned by The Blackstone Group, Nordic Capital and CSFB Private Equity has agreed to buy the pharmaceutical division of German company Altana for  €4.5 billion ($5.8 billion), as part of a plan to increase market access.

Nycomed’s chairman, Tony Weitzberg, told a conference that an IPO of the combined operation may be possible, “but not in the next [few] years,” according to a Dow Jones report.

Altana faces an upcoming expiration on its patent for the ulcer treatment pantoprazole, its top-selling drug. In the announcement, the firm said it is selling the unit to focus on its specialty chemicals division, and it expects the sale to be complete by the end of the year.

“Nycomed’s excellent product portfolio and pipeline will benefit from Altana Pharma’s marketing strength in key markets,” said Nycomed CEO Håkan Björklund in a statement. “Clearly, the proposed acquisition will be in line with our strategic objective to further strengthen our position as a leading European pharmaceutical company and attractive licensing partner.”