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Shanghai Fosun, Aurobindo short-listed in $2B Novartis generics portfolio sale

China's Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co. Ltd. is among suitors short-listed to potentially acquire a portfolio of Novartis AG generics assets held by its U.S.-based Sandoz unit, Bloomberg News reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The portfolio, which could rake in as much as $2 billion, includes the Swiss drugmaker's U.S. dermatology business.

India-based Aurobindo Pharma Ltd., Apollo Global Management LLC and CVC Capital Partners were also included in the shortlist, according to the sources. Novartis could select a buyer within the next few weeks, the insiders added.

Aurobindo had submitted an initial $1.6 billion nonbinding offer for Novartis' dermatology generics drugs business, according to a May 7 report by Livemint, the online outlet of Indian daily Mint, citing two people directly aware of the development. Credit Suisse is advising Aurobindo on the transaction. The deadline for submitting the bids is June 15, the report added.

Novartis has been reviewing parts of its Sandoz unit, which is facing continued pricing pressures, CEO Vas Narasimhan said during the company's first-quarter earnings conference call. Narasimhan said he is considering options for the oral solids segment, which makes up half of the business, with the other half being biosimilars and other medicines.