International News - ICN sell-off in second stage of negotiations

The sale of Russian pharmaceuticals business ICN Retail will be complete in three months, according to general director John Ortega.

ICN has 98 stores, including 58 in Moscow and 16 in St Petersburg, as well as five pharmaceutical factories.

'We are through to the second stage of negotiations and expect to have found a buyer in three months,' he said.

Ortega said ICN was one of the pioneers of self-service pharmacies - apteka - in Russia.

The business is owned by the US-based pharmaceuticals group of the same name, which is undergoing extensive restructuring. Businesses associated with the deal include Protek, a Russian pharmaceuticals distributor.