Stada says has not held talks with CVC over buyout

FRANKFURT, June 8 (Reuters) - German generic drugmaker Stada said on Wednesday it has not held talks with private equity firm CVC Capital Partners over a potential buyout, denying a media report from two weeks ago.

“There are no talks with CVC and there haven’t been any,” a company spokesman told Reuters.

CVC declined to comment.

The Wall Street Journal at the time cited people familiar with the matter as saying that talks had been of an informal nature and a mooted deal could value Stada at around 3.7 billion euros ($4.2 billion), driving Stada shares up more than 10 percent.

The remarks come at a tumultuous time for the maker of drugs without patent protection, consumer care products and diagnostic kits.

Investor Active Ownership, which holds about 7 percent in Stada shares and options, has launched a campaign to improve the way Stada is managed and has proposed candidates to run for supervisory board seats at Stada’s next annual shareholder meeting.

Stada has responded by saying it would propose its own set of new candidates and postponed the meeting to have more time for the hunt for prospective directors.

That was followed by long-time chief executive, Harmut Retzlaff, taking temporary leave of absence due to an undisclosed serious health condition, to be replaced by fellow executive board member Matthias Wiedenfels.

The Wall Street Journal said in its report two weeks ago that other private equity firms had also reached out to Stada’s management.

A person familiar with the matter told Reuters that Stada was currently not in talks with any buyout groups.

The company declined to comment on this. ($1 = 0.8794 euros) (Reporting by Ludwig Burger, Patricia Weiss and Arno Schuetze; Editing by Andreas Framke)