French COVID-19 vaccine vial maker SGD Pharma up for sale - sources

PARIS, March 25 (Reuters) - France’s SGD Pharma, a supplier of COVID-19 vaccine vials and other healthcare packages made of glass, is exploring options incluing a sale for more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion), people close to the matter said.

Its owner, China Jianyin Investment (JIC), has asked Bank of America to look for a potential buyer of the business, which has core earnings of about 100 million euros and could be valued at 10-12 times that, they said.

JIC was not immediately available for comment, while SGD Pharma and Bank of America declined to comment.

The business is being marketed to buyout firms including PAI, Ardian, Eurazeo, CVC and Cinven, the people said, adding that first-round offers were expected next month.

Alternatively, JIC could opt to keep SGD and have it consolidate the market in Europe or Asia, or help it expand into new segments like pre-filled syringes, an industry source with knowledge of the situation said.

“(SGD) is active in a steady, growing, sector and margins have improved significantly”, the person added.

JIC bought SGD Pharma, which is expected to post revenues of 348 million euros for 2020, from private equity firm Oaktree in 2016.

As part of efforts to get COVID-19 vaccination campaigns going, SGD Pharma in 2020 vowed to supply its entire daily manufacturing output of 400,000-500,000 moulded glass vials made at its site in Normandy, France, to vaccine makers.

$1 = 0.8450 euros Editing by Mark Potter