AZ begins Astra Tech auction

AstraZeneca has begun a £1.3 billion ($2.1 billion) auction of Astra Tech, its dental implants and medical devices division as it looks to focus on its core medicine business. Bids have been submitted by more than 10 companies.

Private equity firms Bridgepoint and Britain's Cinven of Britain and France's PAI Partners have made offers, as well as Warburg Pincus and trade buyer Zimmer Holdings, the Daily Mail is reporting. Some bidders are looking to buy only the dental implants unit while others want the medical devices operation.

Back in February, Reuters reported that about 20 parties were interested in acquiring Astra Tech. The pharma company sent out information to a number of med tech and private equity firms and expected to eliminate about a dozen unqualified bidders through early screening.

According to its website, Astra Tech, which was founded in 1948, has about 2,200 employees.

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