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FRANKFURT/HONG KONG, March 9 (Reuters) - China's Shanghai
Fosun Pharmaceutical is planning a bid for German
generic drugmaker Stada, already the centre of a 3.6
billion euro ($3.8 billion) takeover battle between two private
equity consortia, two people close to the matter said.
Fosun Pharma is also holding early-stage talks with buyout
funds including CVC about a potential joint bid, but may decide
initially to go it alone with a view to taking financial
investors on board later, one of the people said.
Fosun Pharma said it currently had no information to
disclose. Stada declined to comment.
Stada is expecting to receive so-called confirmatory bids
from a consortium comprising Advent and Permira as well as from
rivals Bain and Cinven, who have teamed up as well, on Friday.
Final bids are due just before Easter, the sources said.
The planned Stada bid is part of Fosun Pharma's overseas
expansion plans, after it acquired an Indian drugmaker, Gland
Pharma, last year. Fosun Pharma's Chairman Chen Qiyu had said in
September that the firm was eyeing investments in other overseas
The company is part of Chinese conglomerate Fosun
International, headed by billionaire Guo Guangchang,
which has been active in global mergers and acquisitions from
property to finance.
For buyout groups it makes sense to partner with a pharma
group, as industry players are usually able to reap cost savings
from an acquisition, giving them an edge in pricing power in a
takeover situation, the sources said.
After looking at Stada's books, the private equity firms may
eventually offer up to 60 euros per share, the sources said,
adding that the confirmatory bids will likely be around the
initial level of about 58 euros per share or 3.6 billion euros
for all of Stada's equity.
Stada had opened its books to potential acquirers after
coming under pressure from its largest shareholder to consider
various takeover approaches.
Cash-rich buyout firms looking to invest in stable
healthcare businesses had been working on offers for Stada for
months, people familiar close to the matter had said.
($1 = 0.9441 euros)
(Additional reporting by Julie Zhu and Alexander Hübner;
Editing by Georgina Prodhan/Keith Weir)