* U.S. bank loans may help finance bid - sources
* Deal would draw heavily on U.S., European "junk" bonds
(Adds background on drugs and Nycomed owners, Solvay shares)
By Quentin Webb
LONDON, Sept 18 Nycomed, the private
equity-owned Swiss drugmaker, recently made a fully financed 4
to 4.5 billion-euro ($5.88 to $6.62 billion) offer to buy Solvay
SA's (SOLB.BR) drug unit, people familiar with the matter said.
If successful a tie-up would create a group with about 6
billion euros in annual sales and would be the first takeover to
be funded significantly by European "junk" bonds since the
financial crisis began.
As reported by Reuters in August, Nycomed would fund any
buyout of the Belgian pharmaceutical business by high-yield
bonds in dollars and euros, 1 billion euros or more of fresh
equity from Nycomed's owners, and existing cash. [ID:nL7219581]
Nycomed [NYCMD.UL], which has lined up bridge loans ahead of
a bond issue, may also arrange longer-term bank finance via its
U.S. subsidiary, two of the people said.
A Nycomed spokeswoman declined to comment.
A Solvay spokesman referred to comments made by Chief
Executive Christian Jourquin, who said on July 30 that Solvay
should have more clarity on the future of the unit in the fourth
quarter and it would not be rushed with its strategic review.
It is not clear whether Nycomed faces any significant
competition. Two of the people familiar with the matter said
Solvay had received a number of proposals -- but some of its
most likely suitors have publicly denied interest.
Abbott Laboratories (ABT.N), Solvay's partner for the
blockbuster TriCor, said in July it had no interest in expanding
in fenofibrates, the class of drugs including TriCor.
Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd (4502.T) said in May it
would not make a bid.
For Nycomed, whose biggest drug is heartburn treatment
Pantoprazole, Solvay offers a complementary portfolio of drugs
with similar-sized markets, a greater foothold in emerging
markets, and the chance to reap big cost savings.
But Nycomed has had to weigh the patent threats to Solvay's
two lead products, the cholesterol-lowering TriCor and
testosterone-replacement drug Androgel.
Nycomed is owned by Nordic Capital, Credit Suisse's
CSGN.VX DLJ Merchant Banking, Coller International Partners
Shares in Solvay were 0.14 percent lower at 77.68 euros a
share at 1120 GMT.
(WIth additional reporting by Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels;
Editing by Greg Mahlich)