PARIS, April 17 (Reuters) - French healthcare group Sanofi has started exclusive talks with private equity firm Advent International over selling its Zentiva European generics drugs arm to Advent for 1.9 billion euros ($2.4 billion), the companies said.
The planned sale of Zentiva began in October after Sanofi spent more than a year carving out the division in a bid to create a stand-alone company that could be sold to one of its competitors or to an investment fund.
Sanofi said the sale was expected to be completed before the end of the year, and that Advent’s offer for Zentiva was a binding one and was fully financed.
“Following a comprehensive review of strategic options for our generics unit in Europe, we have determined that transferring this business to Advent is the best option to ensure its long-term success,” Sanofi Chief Executive Olivier Brandicourt said in a statement.
$1 = 0.8067 euros Reporting by Matthias Blamont and Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by Jason Neely