ZURICH, March 24 (Reuters) - Galenica expects to raise up to 1.68 billion Swiss francs ($1.70 billion) when it floats its Sante pharmacy business, the Swiss drugmaker said on Friday.
Galenica said it would launch a book building process on Monday, with an indicated price range of 31 to 39 francs per share. That implies a total market capitalization of the business of 1.55-1.95 billion francs, said Galenica, which will retain the net proceeds from the sale.
Galenica said it would keep a 13.75 percent stake in the Sante business, which is expected to have its first day of trading on April 7.
Galenica is splitting into a speciality drugs business called Vifor Pharma, which makes iron replacements popular in its home Swiss market as well as therapy for excessive potassium levels, and its Sante unit that runs hundreds of Amavita and Sun Store pharmacy outlets across Switzerland.
The new drugs business will focus on growth, particularly in the United States, where Galenica bought drugmaker Relypsa for $1.53 billion last year.
The Swiss pharmacy chain and accompanying drug logistics and distribution business is intended to deliver a stable dividend.
$1 = 0.9908 Swiss francs Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Michael Shields