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Abu Dhabi Wealth Fund ADQ Said to Pursue Bausch’s Egypt Unit

Nicolas Parasie and Dinesh Nair
·2-min read

(Bloomberg) -- Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund ADQ is exploring a potential acquisition of Bausch Health Cos.’s Egyptian drug unit, people with knowledge of the matter said.

ADQ has been evaluating the Bausch business, known as Amoun Pharmaceutical Co., as it seeks to expand its portfolio of health-care investments, according to the people. Amoun could fetch at least $700 million in a sale, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

No final agreements have been reached, and there’s no certainty the deliberations will lead to a transaction, the people said. Amoun could also attract other suitors, according to the people. Representatives for ADQ and Amoun couldn’t immediately comment. A spokesperson for Bausch declined to comment.

Bausch, formerly known as Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., has been reshaping its operations since becoming infamous on Wall Street for raising drug prices. One activist investor, Glenview Capital, has been pushing Bausch to sell or spin off more businesses. The company said in August it would separate its eye-care unit into an independent publicly-traded company.

Deal Spree

ADQ owns major enterprises spanning key sectors of the Gulf emirate’s economy, including Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and Abu Dhabi Airports. It has recently been snapping up assets in industries ranging from food to energy.

The fund, chaired by Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is in talks to acquire a stake in agricultural trader Louis Dreyfus Co., Bloomberg News reported last month. ADQ and another investor agreed this week to buy a $2.1 billion indirect stake in Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.’s natural gas pipelines.

Valeant agreed in 2015 to acquire Amoun for about $800 million plus contingency payments as it sought a platform for further expansion in the Middle East and Africa. Amoun was the largest domestic drugmaker in Egypt, according to a press release at the time.

The North American pharmaceutical group was seeking a buyer for Amoun in 2016, people with knowledge of the matter have said, though those discussions ended without a deal. Amoun offers both veterinary and human medicines in the region and sells products including antibiotics, anti-diarrheals and drugs that fight high blood pressure.

An acquisition of Amoun by ADQ would add to $202 billion of deals targeting health-care companies this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s 45% down on the same period in 2019 as the pandemic subdues dealmaking across most major sectors.

(Adds health-care deal volumes in final paragraph)

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