Reincarnated Aptalis Files for IPO

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A new company named Aptalis Holdings has arisen from the ashes of Axcan Pharma. Aptalis emerges as a beefed-up reincarnation of Axcan; the new company includes a number of smaller pharmas under its umbrella. Private-equity firm TPG Capital took over Axcan in 2007 and has combined it with a number of other companies, most notably Eurand Pharmaceuticals, which TPG snapped up for $583 million back in 2011.

SEC filing today

A filing with the SEC by Aptalis Holdings made public today laid out plans to raise up to $500 million in an IPO. The price and timing of the offering have yet to be announced. The filing noted that Aptalis Holdings first filed confidentially back on November 4.

Aptalis description

Aptalis comes to the market as a mid-tier pharma, in essence. The company boasts a profitable portfolio of drugs in both cystic fibrosis and gastrointestinal diseases, including the ulcer treatment Carafate, ulcerative proctitis drug Canasa, and Zenpep, which treats a pancreatic problem related to cystic fibrosis. Several of these drugs are the No. 1 or No. 2 sellers in their category.

In the IPO prospectus filed with the SEC, Aptalis Holdings reports revenue in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 increased a solid 12% to $688 million, with a net income of $87 million. Zenpep is the company’s most profitable concern, with the drug growing at a close to 50% rate from fiscal 2011 to 2013.

In full disclosure, the prospectus also notes that both Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY) are in clinical trials developing compounds to compete with Aptalis’ suite of pancreatic enzyme products.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) are listed as the lead underwriters for the upcoming IPO. However, the date and specific terms of the IPO have not been announced to date. The new company will trade under the ticker symbol APTA.

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