Actavis Closes Forest Laboratories Deal For $28B

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The Federal Trade Commission finally approved the sale yesterday after it was announced at $25 billion in February. However, the FTC insisted that the companies diltiazem hydrochloride extended release capsules, which are used to treat hypertension and some anginas.

Additionally, the companies agreed to sell three other medications: ursodiol tablets used to treat cirrhosis of the liver, propranolol hydrochloride extended release capsules used to treat hypertension, and lamotrigine orally disintegrating tablets used to prevent seizures.

Actavis’s management changes

In a somewhat surprising move given that it was expected that Actavis plc (NYSE:ACT) CEO Paul Bisaro, who helped seethe deal through, would remain on as CEO but in a turn today Actavis announced that Brenton Saunders, the CEO of Forest would take over as CEO of the new entity. Former CEO Bisaro will slide into the newly created position of executive chairman. Actavis also added two Forest Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:FRX) board members, Dr. Nesli Basgoz and Christopher J. Coughlin, to its board.The newly appointed CEO Saunders served as Forest Laboratories Inc. CEO for less than a year after leaving the position of Bausch and Lomb CEO when it was acquired by Valeant Pharmaceuticals.

The challenges ahead

Saunders is almost a swashbuckler when it comes to the deal-making but it appears he’s changed his attitude as he begins his first day in charge of the newly merged company.“This company is clearly not running any kind of sales process or even contemplating ever running one,” he said in an interview at Actavis plc (NYSE:ACT)’s operational headquarters in Parsippany, New Jersey.  “We have zero plans to sell.”Rather than sell, Mr. Saunders has a new challenge. He’s charged with turning the world’s second-largest generic drug-maker into a company that can also successfully navigate the world of branded drugs while holding onto its strengths in the generic arena. Cutting costs will be his first priority now that the companies have become one as he looks to build the companies branded drug portfolio.

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