Sackler-owned Mundipharma kicks of sale of China unit for up to $1b

Nanjing, China. Source: Jennifer Chen/Unsplash

Drugmaker Mundipharma International Ltd,owned by the billionaire American Sackler family, has kicked off the sale of its China unit in a deal that could fetch more than $1 billion, people familiar with the situation told Reuters.

Mundipharma has invited a select group of potential buyers, including private equity firms and local and international pharmaceutical companies, to bid for the asset, said the people.

Initial bids are due by the end of May, said one of them.

Mundipharma hired Deutsche Bank last year to explore a sale of itself and some individual businesses. It decided to run a standalone sale process for its China business earlier this year, the people said.

Mundipharma did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Deutsche Bank declined to comment. The people declined to be named as the information is confidential.

Based in Cambridge, United Kingdom, Mundipharma has a presence in 120 countries. It had $2 billion in global sales from drugs for pain management and supportive care, diabetes, oncology and respiratory diseases, among others, its website (www.mundipharma.com) showed.

Mundipharma launched its China business in 1993 via a high-profile signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square.

It said on the website it has more than 1,500 employees in China and its Beijing factory is the biggest maker of narcotic and psychoactive drugs in the country. Painkiller OxyContin is one of the Chinese unit‘s core products.

The plan to sell Mundipharma China comes as the Sacklers have offered a $4.3 billion settlement for another of their drug companies, Purdue Pharma LP, to resolve sprawling opioid litigations in the United States.

Purdue, which also makes OxyContin, filed for bankruptcy in September 2019 in the face of nearly 3,000 lawsuits accusing the company of fuelling the national opioid crisis through deceptive marketing. It filed its bankruptcy plan in March.

The Sacklers had proposed to use at least $1.5 billion from a sale of Mundipharma for the Purdue settlement.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.