New York, NY, October 10, 2006 -- Avista Capital Partners, a leading private equity firm, today announced it has committed to purchase up to €125 million of common stock in Nycomed A/S ("Nycomed"). Based in Roskilde, Denmark, Nycomed is a mid-size pharmaceutical company focused on the sale of branded prescription and over-the-counter drugs in the Nordic, continental Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States (former Soviet Union) regions. Avista's investment will fund a portion of Nycomed's €4.2 billion acquisition of Altana Pharma AG ("Altana"), a research-driven pharmaceutical company with a focus on therapeutics in the gastrointestinal and respiratory areas.
Nycomed and Altana Pharma are an excellent match, with complementary geographic foot-prints and product portfolios, and stand to benefit significantly from a strategic combination. Combining Altana Pharma's market strength and research capabilities with Nycomed's strong position within development and in-licensing provides a sustainable future for the new, combined company.
Thompson Dean, Co-Managing Partner of Avista Capital, said, "Having worked closely with Nycomed since 2002, we have tremendous confidence in management's ability to leverage its acquisition of Altana and grow Nycomed into a pan-European pharmaceutical company with the potential to be the in-licensing partner of choice in Europe."
"Altana Pharma is a perfect match for us," said Nycomed CEO Hakan Bjoerklund. "Nycomed's excellent product portfolio and pipeline will benefit from Altana Pharma's marketing strength in key markets. We are excited to have Avista's support in this venture, and to be able to take advantage of Avista's considerable experience in the healthcare industry."
Headquartered in Roskilde, Denmark, Nycomed is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to meeting needs in Europe. The company provides hospital products throughout the region and general practitioner and pharmacy medicines in selected markets. New products are sourced through licensing agreements with research companies. Here Nycomed provides late-stage clinical development, registration and marketing. For more information visit www.nycomed.com
About Altana Pharma AG
Altana Pharma AG is the pharmaceutical business of Altana AG, headquartered in Konstanz, Germany. Altana Pharma concentrates on innovative pharmaceutical products in therapeutics, imaging (contrast media) and OTC medication. Therapeutics, the most important business area, is based on prescription drugs for gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases. For more information visit www.altanapharma.com
About Avista Capital Partners
Avista Capital Partners is a private equity firm with offices in New York, NY and Houston, TX. Founded in 2005, Avista's strategy is to make controlling or influential minority investments primarily in growth-oriented media, healthcare and energy companies. Through its team of seasoned investment professionals and industry experts, Avista seeks to partner with exceptional management teams to invest in and add value to well-positioned businesses. www.avistacap.com
Diana Postemsky, Kekst and Company, 212-521-4805