September 11, 2013 / 2:23 PM / in 4 years

Bids for patch maker LTS Lohmann due late October - sources

FRANKFURT, Sept 11 (Reuters) - The first bids for German medical skin patch maker LTS Lohmann are due in the second half of October, three people familiar with the sale told Reuters on Wednesday.

Initial company documents, so called “teasers”, have been sent to a wide range of prospective bidders, including buyout firms EQT and Advent International, they added.

A source familiar with German specialty chemicals maker Evonik said the group had considered bidding for LTS Lohmann but was no longer interested. Evonik declined to comment.

Sources told Reuters in July that Morgan Stanley had been hired to find a buyer for LTS Lohmann, which is part-owned by Novartis.

The company makes about 200 million euros ($265 million) in annual sales from nicotine and other medical patches to treat conditions including Parkinson’s and Restless Legs Syndrome.

It is expected to fetch more than 1 billion euros, equivalent to more than 10 times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), sources have said.

Transdermal patches of the type made by LTS have become increasingly important in the drugs industry since they offer a convenient and reliable way of delivering a variety of medicines.

One potential complication is that Novartis is not only a co-owner of LTS, with a 43 percent stake, but is also its biggest client.

German billionaire Dietmar Hopp has about 30 percent and German holding company BWK owns the rest.

Novartis, Dietmar Hopp’s investment company, Morgan Stanley and Advent declined to comment.

Officials at BWK and EQT were not immediately available for comment. ($1 = 0.7538 euros) (Additional reporting by Ludwig Burger and Matthias Inverardi; editing by Philipp Halstrick and David Evans)

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