April 25, 2017
By Alex Keown, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
LAKE ZURICH, Ill. – Germany-based Fresenius Kabi, part of Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA, slapped down $4.3 billion to acquire Illinois-based Akorn Pharmaceuticals (AKN) and a larger toehold in the United States.
With the deal, Fresenius, which makes sterile injectable medicines, gained the generic drugmaker, which it said will complement its existing business. Akorn has a diversified portfolio of more than 180 generic, branded, OTC and animal health products. Shares of Akron are up slightly this morning, although the stock jumped earlier this month following reports that Fresenius was looking to acquire the Illinois-based company.
“Akorn brings to Fresenius Kabi specialized expertise in development, manufacturing and marketing of alternate dosage forms, as well as access to new customer segments like retail, ophthalmology and veterinary practices. Its pipeline is also impressive, with approximately 85 ANDAs filed and pending with the FDA and dozens more in development,” John Ducker, president and CEO of Fresenius Kabi USA said in a statement.
The deal has been approved by the boards of both companies, as well as Akorn’s largest shareholder, and is expected to close in early 2018.
Fresenius Kabi specializes in . Akorn produces a diverse portfolio of sterile ophthalmics, topical creams, ointments and gels, oral liquids, otic solutions (for the ear), nasal sprays and respiratory drugs. The company also manufactures to sterile injectables, which made up just 35 percent of Akorn sales last year. Akorn’s prescription and over-the-counter products are sold in retail pharmacies and are also carried by physicians, hospitals and clinics.
By becoming part of Fresenius, Akorn’s CEO Raj Rai said it will allow greater distribution for the company’s products.
Akorn employs more than 2,000 people worldwide. Fresenius Kabi employs more than 30,000 worldwide. Fresenius is one of the largest healthcare companies in Europe.
In addition to the deal with Akorn, Fresenius negotiated a second acquisition with Merck KgaA (MKGAF.PK) for its portfolio of biosimilars, Bloomberg reported. Fresenius agreed to pay Merck $184.7 million upfront with a possible $600 million in future milestone payments.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Fresenius SE CEO Stephan Sturm said the two acquisitions announced today make more sense when looked at together than individually. He said the Akorn deal brings the German company greater access to the U.S. markets, which will be important for the biosimilars it manufactures. Those biosimilars are not expected to be available until the first drugs are available for commercialization in 2019.