BC Partners, Onex and American Securities vie for Ikaria - sources

November 22
10:49 AM 2013

Ikaria Inc, a Hampton, New Jersey-based private equity and venture capital-backed specialty drug company, is being competed by BC Partners Ltd, Onex Corp and American Securities LLC. A deal could fetch up to USD 2 billion for Ikaria, according to sources whom are familiar with the matter.

According to Reuters, these three are amongst those who had gone through the second round of bidding for Ikaria, with final offers due by early December. When asked for confirmation, Ikaria, BC Partners and American Securities all declined to comment, while an Onex spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

Ikaria was created in 2007 when investors led by New Mountain merged a biotechnology company also called Ikaria with German industrial gas producer Linde AG's INO Therapaeutics, in a USD670 million cash-and-stock deal. Ikaria's main drug called INOMAX delivers nitric oxide gas to treat newborns with serious trouble breathing, allowing for more oxygenated blood to properly circulate in their bodies. Ikaria also has a pipeline of what it calls "critical care" products for patients with life-threatening injuries or diseases.

Ikaria filed for an initial public offering before in 2010 but withdrew the registration that same year, citing market conditions. Its current owners have then taken several dividends from the company, including a USD475 million distribution deal last summer through borrowing.

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