Global investor Advent International has entered into exclusive negotiations with French pharmaceutical group Sanofi about the acquisition of its European generics business, Zentiva, for €1.9bn.
Advent's offer is firm, binding and fully financed, and the deal is expected to close by the end of this year, following consultation with Sanofi employees and subject to the approval of relevant regulatory authorities.

Sanofi said the sale is part of its strategy to simplify and reshape the company, while Advent said it plans to invest in the business to create a new, independent European “genetics leader”.

Sanofi chief executive officer Olivier Brandicourt said: “Zentiva is a robust business with a highly talented workforce and we believe it has demonstrated its potential for growth. Following a comprehensive review of strategic options for our generic unit in Europe, we have determined that transferring this business to Advent is the best option to ensure its long-term success.”

Tom Allen, managing director and co-head of Advent's European healthcare team, and Cedric Chateau, MD and head of France, said: “We have long been attracted to the generics pharmaceutical sector as it enables more people to access high quality treatments by lowering their cost. We believe that Zentiva is a great platform, full of talented people, who we can invest behind to build a new, independent, European generics leader.”

Art 1110 BST, Sanofi shares were up 0.4% to €66.33.