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Sale of German patch maker LTS Lohmann stalls - sources
December 5, 2013 / 2:55 PM / 4 years ago

Sale of German patch maker LTS Lohmann stalls - sources

2 Min Read

FRANKFURT, Dec 5 (Reuters) - The planned sale of German medical skin patch maker LTS Lohmann has stalled due to a disagreement amongst its current owners over whether the bids are satisfactory, three people familiar with the matter said.

Swiss drugmaker Novartis holds a 43 percent stake in LTS Lohmann, while German billionaire Dietmar Hopp, who co-founded software giant SAP, holds about 30 percent. German investment company BWK owns a 24 percent stake.

"There is no shareholder agreement on the sell side (on the minimum asking price) and that is holding things up," one of the sources said. "The three shareholders have different interests."

Buyout firms Wendel of France and Nordic Capital of Sweden have put in bids valuing the company - the first to launch a nicotine patch in the U.S. in 1991 - at about 1.2 billion euros ($1.6 billion), sources said last month.

At least one of the owners is holding out for proceeds of 1.4 billion euros from the sale, one of the sources said.

Wendel, Nordic and BWK declined to comment on Thursday.

Officials at Novartis and a spokesman for Hopp's investment vehicle were not immediately available for comment.

The bids from Wendel and Nordic value the group at about 12.6 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of about 95 million euros.

Listed healthcare companies in Europe trade at a multiple of about 11.5, data from Thomson Reuters StarMine show.

LTS Lohmann makes about 286 million euros in annual sales from nicotine and other medical patches to treat conditions including Parkinson's and Restless Legs Syndrome. ($1 = 0.7377 euros) (Reporting by Arno Schuetze, Claire Ruckin and Ludwig Burger; Editing by Victoria Bryan)

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