Pfizer sells pill unit to KKR

City A.M. Reporter
DRUGMAKER Pfizer has struck a deal to sell its Capsugel unit, the world’s largest maker of hard capsules, to private equity firm KKR for nearly $2.38bn (£1.48bn).

Pfizer, which said in October it was exploring the sale of Capsugel, said it expects to make additional share repurchases this year as a result of the deal, beyond its previous plans for $5bn in buybacks for 2011.

The sale to KKR comes as the world’s largest drugmaker has indicated it is reviewing possible further divestitures under new chief executive Ian Read.

Pfizer’s initial decision to explore options for Capsugel came a few months before Read became chief executive.

Capsugel had about $750m in revenue last year and manufactured more than 180bn hard capsules.

Financing for the Capsugel deal is being led by UBS, Barclays and Deutsche Bank.