Vifor Pharma had a recent takeover approach from at least one private equity firm, but talks were halted due to differences over price, two sources familiar with the matter said, as reported by This is Money.
According to the sources, the investors behind the initial approach suspended the discussions after failing to agree on a deal that would have seen the drugmaker delisted from Switzerland's SIX exchange.
Vifor is valued at around 8 billion Swiss francs ($8.82 billion). The deal which had been under discussion would have valued Vifor at about 10 billion Swiss francs, one of the sources said.
The largest shareholders of the company are Martin and Rosemarie Ebner who have a combined stake of around 20%. Sources familiar with the situation said the Ebners could sell their stake under certain conditions.
Vifor’s main business is making active ingredients for iron deficiency such as Ferinject. In September, the firm sold its immunotherapeutics subsidiary OM Pharma to Jornod's Optimus Holding for 435 million francs. Financial sources have said this streamlining of the portfolio has made Vifor a more attractive target.
The company increased sales in 2019 by 18.5% to 1.88 billion Swiss francs and posted a profit of 159 million. For the current year, it has forecast growth will slow to 5% in local currencies.
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