Turkish Drugmaker Biofarma Hires Goldman Sachs for Sale

Apr 07, 2014 11:17 am ET

(Updates with 2011 value estimate in fourth paragraph.)

April 7 (Bloomberg) -- Biofarma Pharmaceutical Industry Co.’s owners hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to start the process of selling a stake in the Turkish drugmaker, Chief Executive Officer Serdar Sozeri said.

Goldman sent out so-called teasers, or invitation letters, to potential bidders for stock in the Istanbul-based company, which is owned equally by New York-based private-equity firm Rohatyn Group and another buyout investor group that Sozeri, speaking in a phone interview, identified as Spokane while declining to specify other details. He also declined to comment on the size of any holding that might be offered.

Citi Venture Capital International, a unit of Citigroup Inc. that was sold to Rohatyn Group last year, and Partners in Life Sciences bought Biofarma, a generic producer of heart, respiratory and urinary-tract treatments, from its Turkish owners in 2006. A stake was sold to Greek private-equity firm Global Finance in 2007.

An attempt to sell the drugmaker in 2011 failed over price, with a person familiar with the situation at the time estimating the drugmaker was valued at $600 million to $700 million. A spokesman for Rohatyn didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

Bayer AG, GlaxoSmithKline Plc, Novartis AG, AstraZeneca Plc and Amgen Inc. are among more than 30 international drugmakers operating in Turkey, a medicines market that expanded 6.5 percent to 15.2 billion liras ($7.2 billion) in 2013, according to the website of the Istanbul-based Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association of Turkey. Biofarma’s revenue in 2010 totaled 160 million liras, according to Istanbul Chamber of Industry figures.

--With assistance from David Carey in New York.