PE firms circle Terapia

Advent International, the US-based private equity firm, which was one of the private equity pioneers in Central and Eastern Europe, has mandated Merrill Lynch to sell generic drugs maker Terapia.

Chris Mruck, a director at Advent, said: “We are finding that when you have a deal in the hundreds of millions of euros, you see a lot of the international private equity houses looking around. The generic pharmaceutical market has been hot and there is clearly interest in a secondary buyout for this one.”

Advent invested €40m in the deal in September 2003, when it became the first company to be delisted from the Bucharest stock exchange in a private equity-backed deal. The initial transaction was helped after a change in Romanian law eased the completion of P2Ps and by the attitude of two strategic investors that were looking for an exit. Joining Advent in the investment were the EBRD and FMO, the Dutch development bank.

Privatised in 1996, Terapia has been transformed from a state-owned business to a profitable branded generics manufacturer. Led by a young management team fronted by Bristol-Myers Squibb alumnus Dorin Toderas, the business has since focused on restructuring, re-equipping its manufacturing facilities, securing international GMP certification and expanding its product portfolio to include a range of new, higher value-added products.