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Advent International, a buyout group, has submitted a binding €3.6bn offer to buy Stada in an attempt to end a competitive auction to buy the German maker of generic drugs including Viagra.
The move is intended to allow Advent to jump ahead of rivals, including Cinven, that have already made non-binding offers.
The Advent offer values Stada at €58 a share.
In its pitch, Advent said it would boost the company’s growth by investing in new products and commit to keeping Germany as its industrial base.
It also said it had no intention to sell or split off significant parts of the business.
Cinven has offered €3.5bn, or €56 a share.
Stada’s board said last month it was ready to be “open-minded” about talks with potential bidders for looking to acquire 100 per cent of its shares.
But Advent is hoping to secure the deal and put a halt to a bidding war. In an statement, it said it was “convinced that this offer comes with high transaction security and is in the best interest of the company, its shareholders and its employees”.
“Advent currently expects the transaction to close after the dividend payment for the business year 2016. Investors would therefore benefit from the expected dividend payment in addition to the cash offer price,” it added.
Shares of Stada closed at €57.70.
Private-equity bidders are keen on the business because they have identified significant cuts.
Bain Capital and CVC are reportedly monitoring this process closely.