Funds News

REFILE-French pharma ingredients maker Seqens prepped for sale - sources

(Removes extraneous letter from Seqens name)

FRANKFURT, Feb 8 (Reuters) - French pharma ingredients and specialty chemicals maker Seqens is being prepared for a sale by its private equity owners who are hoping to cash in on high healthcare valuations, two people close to the matter said.

Majority owner Eurazeo has tasked JPMorgan with finding a buyer for the company, which makes and distributes aspirin, paracetamol and other so-called active pharmaceutical ingredients, the sources said.

Seqens could be valued at more than 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion), representing a multiple of more than 15 times its core earnings, one of the sources said.

Eurazeo and JPMorgan declined to comment, while Seqens did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Seqens, which supplies pharmaceutical companies and also makes cosmetics, food and microelectronics, is expected to post earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of around 150 million euros this year on sales of around 1 billion euros, the sources said.

It is expected to be marketed to peers including Recipharm, Lonza, Cambrex and Samsung Biologics, one of the sources said, adding that private equity funds could also show interest.

Seqens - rebranded from Novacap in 2018 - was set up in 2003 and was originally owned by Bain Capital.

It has grown through a string of acquisitions including those of Germany-based Uetikon, China’s Yangzi Pharmaceutical Chemical and U.S.-based PCI Synthesis.

Eurazeo took a 67% stake in Novacap in 2016 in a deal that valued the group at 654 million euros, including debt, from private equity firm Ardian, which retained an 18% stake.

Ardian also declined to comment

$1 = 0.8318 euros Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Pravin Char