French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi SA is exploring options to sell a range of older drugs, with an estimated value of the portfolio between $7 billion and $8 billion, according to Reuters, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The move is the latest in a trend of refocusing strategic efforts by large pharmaceutical companies globally. More and more companies are attempting to optimize their operations by shedding assets they find less profitable or marginal and concentrate on areas with more potential for growth. The trend has also seen willingness from large players on the market to engage in asset swaps with rivals, in a bid to enhance their strongest areas.

According to the unnamed sources, Sanofi has hired Evercore Partners Inc to advise the company on the deal and it has been reaching out to potential buyers over the past few months. The drugs on offer include products for the treatment of high blood pressure and cardio-metabolic diseases with a combined annual revenue of about $3.7 billion, Reuters said.

Industry experts speculate that specialty pharmaceutical companies and generic drugmakers could be among those potentially interested in Sanofi's portfolio. At present neither Sanofi nor Evercore Partners have commented on the the matter but Sanofi's chief executive Chris Viehbacher told reporters on Tuesday that the company had no plans to venture into large-scale deals and will stick to its current strategy of small transactions and narrowly targeted acquisitions.