US private equity firm Advent International Corp. LLP is in exclusive negotiations to buy French drugs giant Sanofi SA’s (NYSE:SNY) European generics business Zentiva for an enterprise value of €1.92bn (US$2.37bn).
In a statement, the French company said Advent had made a firm, binding and fully financed offer.
READ: Takeda’s possible US$50bn Shire bid thrown into doubt as UK pharma sells off oncology unit for US$2.4bn
It added that the transaction is expected to close by the end of 2018, following consultation with Sanofi employees' representatives and regulatory approval.
The sale of the non-core business, which was flagged up back in October, forms part of Sanofi's strategy to simplify the company.
Zentiva operates in 50 markets and has a strong presence in Eastern Europe, particularly in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania.
Its generic drugs portfolio includes cardiovascular and gastrointestinal drugs as well as painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs based on ibuprofen and leflunomide molecules.
The disposal is the second big move in the drugs sector this week, with UK group Shire Plc (LON:SHP) on Monday announcing plans to sell its oncology business to unlisted French drugmaker Servier for US$2.4bn as it attempts to fend off a possible takeover bid by Japanese giant Takeda.