November 19, 2019 / 12:45 PM / 18 days ago

Foreign firms eye minority stake in Turkish drug maker Sanovel -sources

ISTANBUL, Nov 19 (Reuters) - U.S. hedge fund York Capital is leading a trio of firms that is considering buying a minority stake in Turkish generic drug maker Sanovel, according to three people with knowledge of the talks that could lead to a deal.

Metric Capital Partners and Morgan Stanley are the others involved in talks over a possible purchase from Sanovel parent Toksoz Group, said two of the sources, all of whom requested anonymity because no agreements had been reached.

“The Toksoz family are holding talks to restructure their loans; at the same time they are holding talks to sell a minority stake in Sanovel,” one of the sources said.

The size and value of the possible minority stake in Istanbul-based Sanovel were unclear. It was also unclear how the three possible buyers were working together.

Toksoz Group did not respond to a request for comment.

New York-based York Capital, London-based Metric Capital and Morgan Stanley, the Wall Street bank, did not respond to requests to comment.

Sanovel produces some 300 million individual boxes of medicine annually, according to its website. It operates in Georgia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Iraq and other countries in the region, and in recent years began exporting to Spain and Italy.

The company is among the top 20 that produces medicine in line with international standards in Turkey, according to the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Turkey.

According to a Bloomberg report, Sanovel was in talks some two years ago with private fund Abraaj Group for a minority stake sale, but the discussions were later halted. (Reporting Ebru Tuncay; Writing by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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