By Kane Wu
HONG KONG (Reuters) -Private equity firms Fountainvest Capital Partners, TPG and Warburg Pincus are among final-round bidders for Carlyle Group's stake in AmbioPharm Inc, people with knowledge of the transaction told Reuters.
Carlyle, which is targeting a valuation of $1 billion for Ambio in a sale, is expecting binding bids in the coming days, said three of the people. A deal could be reached by the end of September at the earliest, said one of them.
Carlyle, Fountainvest, TPG and Warburg all declined to comment. The sources declined to be identified as the information is confidential.
Investment bank Jefferies has been hired by Carlyle to run the sale, Reuters has previously reported. The bank declined to comment.
Ambio develops and makes peptide active pharmaceutical ingredients under contract. Carlyle bought a significant minority stake in it from specialist healthcare fund MVM Partners in 2018 for an undisclosed amount.
Carlyle's current ownership level in Ambio could not be determined.
Founded in 2007 by scientist and entrepreneur Chris Bai, Ambio is headquartered in South Carolina and also has peptide manufacturing and purification facilities in Shanghai.
The firm provides services for drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the European Medicines Agency and the China National Medical Products Administration. It has a pipeline of pre-clinical and clinical programmes.
(Reporting by Kane Wu; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Bradley Perrett)