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Investor Wyser-Pratte calls for sale of Stada to CVC: Reuters

U.S. activist investor Guy Wyser-Pratte, who has acquired a stake in Stada, said the German maker of generic drugs and consumer care products should soon be sold to buyout firm CVC Capital Partners.

Instead of delving into a longer-term overhaul of the company’s governance and operations — an approach pursued by fellow Stada investor Active Ownership — shareholders should push for a swift outright sale, which could also be to a rival generic drugmaker, he said.

“They (CVC) are interested, my contacts in Germany say that. They can easily pay in the mid-sixties and still make money,” Wyser-Pratte, who holds a stake of just below 3 percent in Stada, told Reuters. “Why wait five years instead of selling in five months?”

Active Ownership Capital, which controls a stake of around 7 percent in Stada, is campaigning for international pharmaceutical experts to take non-executive board seats at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) on Aug. 26.

The activist investor wants the experience of directors to reflect the way the drug maker’s business has evolved from a mainly domestic business to an international one.

Stada’s supervisory board will at the AGM propose a set of new candidates of its own.

CVC and Stada declined to comment on Wyser-Pratte’s remarks.

The Wall Street Journal reported in May that takeover talks of an informal nature had been held with buyout firm CVC but Stada responded two weeks later by saying no talks were held.

Wyser-Pratte in June unveiled in daily Handelsblatt that he had acquired a stake in Stada to force the German pharmaceutical manufacturer into a merger deal.

Stada shares have gained close to 30 percent, trading at 48.41 euros per share, since first reports emerged in early May of Active Ownership pushing for changes. They extended gains following Wyser-Pratte’s comments, trading 2.1 percent higher at 49.27 euros by 1219 GMT.

Wyser-Pratte played a key role in the breakup engineering group and robot maker IWKA, today known as Kuka.