Horizon Pharma seeks stake sale to investor

Irish biopharmaceutical firm Horizon Pharma Plc is planning to sell a significant equity stake to an investor in order to bolster its balance sheet, Reuters today reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Dublin-based company has hired Bank of America Corp to help with the sale, the report said.

Horizon, which has a market cap of $2.4 billion and debt of nearly $1.3 billion, plans to use the proceeds to shore up its capital and for acquisitions, the report added.

"We are always pursuing potential transactions and our preferred capital source is debt raised alongside an announced transaction. We have no plans to do any equity transactions to add capital to our balance sheet," Horizon said in a statement.

Horizon's recent acquisitions include biopharmaceutical firm Hyperion Therapeutics Inc in order to diversify its product portfolio and added two drugs Ravicit and Buphenyl for the treatment of urea cycle disorders.

Earlier this year, Horizon acquired Crealta Holdings for $510 million, which gave it Krystexxa, the only treatment for chronic refractory gout approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Last year, it unsuccessfully tried to buy US-based pain and neurology related disorder treatment company Depomed Inc for $3-billion with the aim of generating significant revenue and tax savings.

Horizon Pharma markets seven medicines through its orphan, primary care and specialty business units for the treatment of arthritis pain and rare diseases.

Its Duexis, Pennsaid, Vimovo and Rayos drugs are used in the treatment of arthritis pain and inflammation, while it's Buphenyl, Ravicti and Actimmune drugs are used for treatment of rare diseases.

Apart from Ireland, the company has operations in the US, Germany and Switzerland.