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BC Partners starts $1.8 billion Pharmathen sale with Jefferies hire -sources

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By Arno Schuetze and Pamela Barbaglia

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – BC Partners has begun the sale of Greek drugmaker Pharmathen, one of two healthcare divestments worth more than $3.6 billion that the buyout firm wants to complete this year, with the hiring of investment bank Jefferies, two sources said.

Pharmathen focuses on developing, manufacturing and out-licensing complex generic drugs and could be valued at about 1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion), the sources told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

BC Partners declined to comment. Jefferies was not immediately available for comment.

The private equity firm bought Pharmathen in 2015 from the founding Katsos family in a 475 million euro deal. The Greek business is now expected to fetch more than 17 times its core earnings of about 90 million euros, the source said.

BC Partners has been sounding out prospective bidders in recent weeks and could send out confidential sale information packages as soon as May, the sources said.

Beside Pharmathen, BC Partners has also put its German drugmaker Aenova on the block as a part of an auction process which it began recently, the sources said.

Rothschild is advising BC Partners on Aenova, which it acquired in 2012 in a 480 million euro deal and is now expected to be valued at about 1.5 billion euros, the sources said.

Aenova, Europe’s largest contract development and manufacturing organization, has annual sales of 740 million euros and 110 million euros in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, a source close to the matter said.

($1 = 0.8279 euros)

(Editing by Alexander Smith)

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