Lundbeck is selling its stake in fellow Danish drugmaker LifeCycle Pharma and in four small private equity funds, in order to raise funds that will add to its acquisition warchest.

Specifically, Lundbeck has sold its 27.2% stake in LifeCycle to Lundbeck Foundation's investment and holding company for 276 million Danish crowns (about $50 million), thus booking profits of 124 million crowns. The firm expects to a further 50 million crowns by offloading its holdings in the four funds to the foundation (which owns 70% of Lundbeck), but will incur costs of 96 million crowns as a result of that divestment.

Anders Gotzsche, Lundbeck's chief financial officer, said that the firm’s aim is to create “the world's leading pharmaceutical company in the field of brain disorders, and activities that do not add any strategic value will therefore be divested”.

The deal suggests that Lundbeck is storing up cash to fund the acquisition of a late-stage drug rather than another company, as it works to reduce its reliance on the antidepressant blockbuster Cipralex/Lexapro (escitalopram), the patents for which expire in 2012.

Earlier this month, the Irish Independent newspaper claimed that Lundbeck was planning a bid for Elan Corp, but those claims have not been substantiated by either named sources or the companies themselves.