(Bloomberg) -- Clayton Dubilier & Rice is emerging as frontrunner to acquire Stada Arzneimittel AG as its current owners move closer to a decision over how to exit the German generic drugmaker, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The buyout firm is seen as the party to beat when suitors are expected to submit offers this week, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. KKR & Co. and CVC Capital Partners Plc have also expressed interest in Stada, according to the people. 

Stada’s private equity owners, Bain Capital and Cinven, are seeking a valuation of about €11 billion ($11.8 billion) or more for the business in an outright sale, the people said, adding it’s unclear if the bidders will be able to meet the expectations.

Bain and Cinven are also continuing parallel work on a potential stock-market listing of Stada should bids fall short of their price expectations, some of the people said. The buyout firms have also been exploring a minority stake sale, they said.

No final decisions have been made and talks with bidders could drag on longer than expected, the people said. Spokespeople for Bain, CD&R, Cinven, CVC, KKR, and Stada declined to comment. 

Bain and Cinven agreed to acquire Stada in 2017 in a €5.3 billion deal that gave the private equity firms control of what was one of the last independent generic-drug businesses in Europe.

Stada was founded in the late 19th century. Based in Bad Vilbel near Frankfurt, the company’s products include Snup, Nizoral and Grippostad.

--With assistance from Swetha Gopinath and Vinicy Chan.

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