FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Private equity firms Bain and Cinven, the buyout firms that have taken control of Stada (STAGn.DE), picked generic drug industry veteran Claudio Albrecht as the German group’s fourth chief executive in 15 months.
However, Albrecht, an Austrian, is only expected to serve as an interim boss until a long-term candidate is found.
Albrecht, who advised Bain and Cinven as they were bidding for Stada against a rival consortium of Permira and Advent, would now “lead the process of transition to a privately held company”, they said on Friday.
“In due course, we expect him to join the Stada group in a non-executive role as originally envisaged once a CEO has been recruited who will lead Stada in the long run.”
Bain and Cinven clinched the Stada deal last month with a sweetened 5.3 billion-euro ($6.3 billion) bid, the largest private equity-funded takeover of a German listed company.
Albrecht was head of Icelandic generic drugmaker Actavis until it was taken over in 2012 by U.S. peer Watson Pharmaceuticals, which adopted the target company’s name.
Among previous roles, he was chief executive of family-owned German drugmaker Ratiopharm, which was later acquired by Teva (TEVA.TA).
His experience is mainly in the field of generic drugs - cheap copies of pharmaceuticals that have lost patent protection. While that is a key source of cash flow for Stada, the German group has mainly relied on prescription-free consumer care products for growth in previous years.
Albrecht’s nomination has yet to be rubber-stamped by the future supervisory board, as Bain and Cinven have to fill five non-executive board seats following the resignation of directors last week.
Stada’s new owners will also appoint Mark Keatley as finance chief. He is a partner at Claudio Albrecht’s advisory firm Albrecht, Prock & Partners and served as chief financial officer of Actavis before the Watson deal.
Following pressure from an activist investor to overhaul Stada, long-serving Chief Executive Hartmut Retzlaff last year resigned on health grounds, to be replaced by executive board member Matthias Wiedenfels.
Wiedenfels quit in a dispute with the group’s supervisory board in July and was succeeded by Engelbert Coster Tjeenk Willink as interim chief executive in July.
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Additional reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Keith Weir