CVCI in €365m pharma exit

The private equity arm of Citi Capital Advisors has agreed to sell specialty pharmaceutical company Sanitas to Valeant Pharmaceuticals.

Citi Venture Capital International (CVCI) has agreed to sell specialty pharmaceutical company Sanitas for €365 million.

The company operates in therapeutic areas in branded markets of Central and Eastern Europe Russia. CVCI and other shareholders are selling a combined 87.2 percent interest in Sanitas. The price represents a premium of approximately 80 percent to the closing price of Sanitas as of 23 May.

“This transaction underlines the very positive outlook for the markets of Poland, the Baltic States and the wider Central and Eastern European region,” said Kustaa Aima, chairman of the management board of Amber Trust II, in a statement. Amber Trust II, a fully invested €150 million private equity fund launched in 2005, is one of the selling shareholders of Sanitas.

CVCI has been an active investor in Central and Eastern Europe since 2001. Last September, the firm bought a 38 percent stake in Bulgaria-based Huvepharma, a manufacturer of livestock pharmaceuticals. Previous pharmaceutical investments include BaDM, a pharmaceuticals distributor in Ukraine; Egypt-based Amoun Pharmaceutical and Turkey-based Biofarma.

In December, co-managing partner at CEE-focused private equity firm Arx Equity Partners Brian Wardrop told Private Equity International the private equity climate in CEE was more favourable than ever. Last May, Carlyle spin-out Resource Partners struck a strategic partnership with AXA Private Equity to deploy roughly €300 million in the region.

CVCI Growth Fund II closed in 2007 on $4.3 billion. The firm manages over $7 billion in equity investments and committed capital.