Pharmstandard mulls selling over-the-counter business: report

MOSCOW Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:41am EDT

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Pharmstandard (PHST.MM), Russia's top drugmaker, is considering selling its over-the-counter medicines business, valued at $2.5 billion, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

The process is at an early stage, the report said, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, who said that Citigroup (C.N) is advising Pharmstandard on the possible sale.

A $2,5 billion sale price would be about the same as Pharmstandard's equity market capitalization.

Pharmstandard declined to comment and Citigroup was not immediately available for comment.

The Russian company, majority owned by businessmen Viktor Kharitonin and Egor Kulkov, generated 51 billion roubles ($1.55 billion) in 2012 sales, including its own drugs and third-party products.

Sales of drugs produced by Pharmstandard rose 3 percent to 20 billion roubles, with the over-the-counter segment contributing 15 billion roubles - a year-on-year fall of 4.5 percent. Revenues from prescription medicines rose 33 percent to about 6 billion roubles. ($1 = 32.8487 Russian roubles)

(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Megan Davies and David Goodman)

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