Exclusive: Canada drugmaker Cipher mulls sale – sources

By Carl O’Donnell and John Tilak

(Reuters) – Cipher Pharmaceuticals Inc CPH.TO, a Canadian specialty pharmaceuticals manufacturer, has hired an investment bank to review strategic alternatives, including a potential sale, people familiar with the matter said.

The strategic review comes amid increased U.S. scrutiny of specialty drug prices, which has weighed on the valuations of many Canadian specialty pharmaceutical companies with U.S. revenues.

There is no certainty that a sale of Cipher will occur, the people cautioned, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential.

Shares of Cipher shot up as much as 22 percent after the Reuters report. They were up 8.3 percent on Monday afternoon in Toronto.

“The company is working with an advisor to consider various strategic alternatives potentially available to enhance shareholder value, with a focus on the U.S. business,” Cipher said in a press statement following the report.

Toronto, Ontario-based Cipher, …