Nycomed Bids on Solvay

LONDON (Reuters) – Nycomed, the private equity-owned Swiss drugmaker, recently made a fully financed 4 to 4.5 billion euro ($5.88 to $6.62 billion) offer to buy Solvay SA’s (SOLB.BR) drug unit, people familiar with the matter said.

As reported by Reuters in August, Nycomed would fund any buyout of the Belgian pharmaceutical business by high-yield bonds in dollars and euros, 1 billion euros or more of fresh equity from Nycomed’s owners, and existing cash.

Nycomed [NYCMD.UL], which has lined up bridge loans ahead of a bond issue, may also arrange longer-term bank finance via its U.S. subsidiary, two of the people said.

A Nycomed spokeswoman said the company did not comment on market rumours. A Solvay spokesman referred to comments by Chief Executive Christian Jourquin, who said on July 30 that Solvay should have more clarity on the future of the unit in the fourth quarter and it would not be rushed with its strategic review. 

($1=.6802 Euro)

(Reporting by Quentin Webb; additional reporting by Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels; editing by Douwe Miedema)