CVC, Cinven eye $1 billion Turkish pharma deal: sources

By Seda Sezer and Ceyda Caglayan

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – European buyout firms Cinven, CVC and Advent International are among potential buyers of a stake in Bilim Ilac in a sale that may value the Turkish drugmaker at about $1 billion, sources familiar with the deal said.

London-based CVC Capital Partners is working with Turkish private equity firm Turkven, while Cinven has Actera as its local partner, the sources said, adding that the sale will have high valuation multiples.

Advent International — which manages more than $21 billion of assets and last year opened an Istanbul office — is also interested in the stake sale, they added.

The size of the stake to be sold was not clear.

Bilim Ilac, which is the third biggest Turkish drugmaker by revenue and box sales, was not immediately available to comment.

It had a 5.1 percent market share in 2010, according to the company’s website. The Turkish drug market had revenue of 14.8 billion lira ($9.74 billion) in 2010, according to Bilim Ilac.

Turkey is attracting larger generic manufacturers and major drugmakers with one of the highest economic growth rates in Europe, with gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 9.2 percent in the fourth quarter, and with robust growth in the pharmaceutical market.

Bilim Ilac’s auction comes as investors explore the sale of another major Turkish drugmaker, generics company Biofarma Pharmaceutical Industry.

In December, Reuters reported that Biofarma’s owners, who include Citigroup’s venture capital arm, had hired JPMorgan to run a sale, which could interest major drugmakers such as GlaxoSmithKline Plc.

London representatives for Cinven, CVC and Advent were not immediately available for comment.

(Writing by Seda Sezer; Additional reporting by Quentin Webb and Simon Meads in London; Editing by Hans Peters and Ben Hirschler)

($1=1.520 Turkish Lira)

CVC, Cinven eye $1 billion Turkish pharma deal: sources