It has emerged that the number of industry players in the running to buy Sanofi’s (Euronext: SAN) European generics business Zentiva has been whittled down to two.
Reuters reports that Brazilian drugmaker EMS and Indian firm Torrent Pharma are competing for the business, which is thought to be worth up to $2.5 billion.
Sanofi reportedly wants to wrap up the process in the next couple of months, and it’s expected that bidding between the drugmakers, which are up against a number of investment funds, could drive the price up further.
Investment groups Blackstone and Nordic Capital have reportedly teamed up to place a bid, and are up against private equity funds Advent, Carlyle and BC Partners.
Last month it was reported that a number of Indian firms were preparing to file bids, including Aurobindo, Zydus Cadila and Intas Pharmaceuticals, as well as Ahmedabad-based Torrent.
The decision to sell the unit was made after new chief executive Olivier Brandicourt took the helm. Dr Brandicourt is also driving a $2 billion expenses-cutting program.
Sanofi also swapped its $13 billion animal health business Merial for Boehringer Ingelheim’s consumer healthcare business, valued at $8 billion at the time.