August 14, 2019 / 5:06 AM / 2 months ago

Germany's Stada 'very selective' on acquisitions: CEO Goldschmidt

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German generic drugmaker Stada (STAGn.D) will be careful about buying businesses and companies outright, and for now will focus mainly on striking production and development deals with partners, the company’s chief executive told Reuters.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Stada Arzneimittel AG is pictured at their headquarters in Bad Vilbel near Frankfurt, Germany, August 24, 2017. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

“We are very selective but we take a look at everything,” said CEO Peter Goldschmidt, who took the helm a year ago.

The company, majority owned by buyout firms Bain and Cinven since 2017, sells consumer healthcare products such as painkillers, sunscreen lotions as well as biosimilar and generic drugs, which are cheaper copies of established pharmaceuticals that have lost patent protection.

The new owners at the time were widely expected to pursue other deals to combine Stada with a peer in consumer healthcare or generic drug markets, but the German company has so far stayed away from larger deals.

“We have very good organic growth. Our first goal is to have good partnerships,” he added, referring to collaboration deals with developers and producers.

Stada is expected to be among the suitors for a portfolio of drugs for sale in western Europe that Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical (4502.T) is divesting to trim its debt following the $59 billion purchase of Shire, sources close to the matter told Reuters last month.

Goldschmidt declined to comment on the transaction, saying there was no shortage of alternative deals to pursue for Stada.

“There are five or six comparable opportunities, that are currently in the market or will come to the market,” the CEO said.

The generic drugmaker on Wednesday reported an increase in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 13% to 295 million euros ($310.61 million) during the fist half.

Sales during the first six months of the year gained 11% to 1.26 billion euros, helped by growth in generic prescription drugs and consumer health products.

Stada agreed in June to buy six consumer brands, including itch relief cream Eurax and Tixylix cough liquids, from British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) for an undisclosed price to bolster its presence in Europe.

The Hesse-based company is focusing on Europe and has shied away from doing business in the United States, where generic drug companies have come under price pressure.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Patricia Weiss,; Editing by Tassilo Hummel and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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