Sanitas wins tender for Polish drugmaker

  • 2005-11-16
  • From wire reports
VILNIUS - Sanitas, Lithuania's largest pharmaceutical manufacturer, has won the tender for a 47.83 percent stake in Jelfa, a Polish drugmaker, though a final decision will depend on subsequent negotiations, the company said.
Sanitas officials confirmed that their bid for Jelfa was the highest but that they still needed the approval from the sellers of the stake.

"We have provided the organizers of the tender with all required information about the financing of Jelfa's purchase transaction," Saulius Jurgelenas, Sanitas CEO, told the Baltic News Service.

He refused to disclose the amount Sanitas bid for the stake.

According to Jurgelenas, Sanitas notified the tender organizers that they would finance the purchase of Jelfa with funds raised through a new share or bond issue. Sanitas shareholders would vote on the choice later this month.

The company would also borrow from banks, Jurgelenas added, with Poland's Pekao bank named among the prospective lenders.

Other bidders for the stake in Poland's pharmaceutical company reportedly included Latvia's Grindex, Poland's Adamed and Enterprise Investors.

Rival bidders have already claimed that the sale procedures were violated, since Sanitas failed to provide any guarantees of its financial capacity to pay the price offered.

Jelfa, which targets the markets of the East, operates a medicinal ointment shop that is one of the most up-to-date and largest in Europe.

According to Sanitas' estimations, the Polish company could continue its business successfully without any major investments for a five-to-seven year period.

Following the purchase of Jelfa, Sanitas would seek to occupy 15 - 20 percent of the Polish market in each group of medicines and rake in some 5 - 6 million euros in revenues each year.

Sanitas, which is 52.92 percent controlled by Invalda, an investment house, acquired Slovak pharmaceutical plant Hoechst-Biotika in the summer. It raised 20.6 million litas through a share issue to finance the deal.