German nicotine-patch maker LTS Lohmann receives several bids

LTS Lohmann Therapie-Systeme AG has attracted bids valuing the German nicotine-patch maker in the range between €1.1 - €1.3 billion ($1.5 - $1.8 billion), Reuters yesterday reported, citing three people familiar with the sale.

Japan's Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical and private equity firms Blackstone Group, KKR & Co, EQT Partners, CVC Capital Partners, Nordic Capital, Carlyle Group, and Wendel have tabled bids said the report.

Blackstone is interested in they acquisition as it can merge LTS with its drug contract manufacturing subsidiary Catalent, while KKR & Co is seeking to complement its hard capsules investment in Capsugel, the report added.

LTS is 43-per cent owned by Swiss drugmaker Novartis, 30-per cent by LTS co-founder German billionaire Dietmar Hopp, while German investment company BWK owns the rest.

Hopp is also the co-founder of German enterprise software company SAP AG.

Founded in 1984, Andernach, West Germany-based LTS developed the world's first nicotine patch, and has also developed a nitroglycerine patch for the preventative treatment of angina pectoris, Parkinson's and Restless-Legs-Syndrome.

Transdermal patches or transdermal therapeutic systems are drug delivery systems that are applied directly to the skin.

The active substance is absorbed by the skin and distributed through the body via the bloodstream. This innovative mode of administration has improved the simplicity of treatment for patients for almost 30 years

LTS is also a contract manufacturer of patches for Novartis, Roche Holding, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson.

LTS employs more than 1,000 people and has annual sales of €286 million.