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Sanofi looks to trim down with divestments

Published on 16/04/18 at 09:51am

Sanofi has begun part of a larger process of slimming down its business with the sales of 12 medicines.

It offloaded the drugs to Charterhouse Capital Partner’s Cooper-Vemedia for €158 million, with the products ranging across dermatology, eye-care and antiseptics.

The products are considered to be non-core products for Sanofi, mainly selling in France and Italy.

Sanofi revealed that it would be divesting of the assets and the sites currently manufacturing them would remain in its hands.

Beyond this smaller deal, there are rumours that Sanofi could be close to selling its European generics division, Zentiva, with Advent International the likely buyer.

According to Bloomberg, discussions will take place today at board level to determine whether to go ahead with a potential €2 billion divestment.

There are still a number of players that could hijack the deal, with BC Partners and EMS all reportedly interested in the business.

Any potential sell-off would represent a relatively quick turnaround of the business, which Sanofi acquired back in 2008 for €1.8 billion. The decision to sell off the unit came even quicker, with confirmation that it would look to sell it on arrived at in 2016.

The reason behind both divestments has been signposted as a means of focusing the business on bringing through new medicines, which has seen it already acquire Bioverativ early this year for $11.6 billion and Ablynx for $5 billion.

Questions have been asked about the sums paid for the two biotechs but, after missing out on a few deals, such as Medivation and Actelion, it seems the company felt it had to move proactively to bolster its pipeline.

Ben Hargreaves

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