Generics maker Akorn jumps on Fresenius takeout talks
- Illinois-based specialty generic pharmaceutical company Akorn announced on Friday that it is in discussion with Fresenius Kabi over a potential acquisition of Akorn.
- Akorn specializes in difficult-to-manufacture sterile and non-sterile dosage forms including ophthalmics, injectables, oral liquids, otics, topicals, inhalatants and nasal sprays. Its shares started the day on Friday at $25.22 before rumors of the takeout talks began, and jumped 18% to close at $29.77. Akorn confirmed the talks this weekend.
- The generics market is set to grow by as much as 10.5% each year between now and 2020, according to a Technavio report.
Fresenius Kabi, a subsidiary of Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA, that specializes in infusion, transfusion and clinical nutrition, has been showing an increasing interest in the generics market.
Last August, Fresenius Kabi invested $250 million to expand its generics manufacturing plant in Melrose Park, Illinois; completion is expected in 2026. The aim is to create a manufacturing 'campus' focusing on generics and sterile injectables, which could become the largest of the company's 70 sites worldwide. This deal, which is subject to approval by the boards of both Akorn and Fresenius, will strengthen and expand Fresenius' generics business, as well as adding in branded pharmaceuticals, animal and consumer health products.
Both Fresenius and Akorn have confirmed that the two companies are in discussion concerning Fresenius' potential acquisition of Akorn. Fresenius provided BioPharma Dive with this statement: "There can be no assurance any transaction will result from these discussions, or as to the terms of any such transaction. Neither Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA nor Akorn, Inc. intend to make any additional comments regarding these negotiations unless and until it is appropriate to do so, or a formal agreement has been reached."
Akorn hit the news in 2015 when it joined a growing list of drugmakers refusing to supply midazolam and hydromorphone for use in prisons as a lethal injection. It also had a hiccup last year when the FDA required a re-inspection of its Decatur, Illinois plant in June 2016; this was completed with no issues in December 2016.
- Akorn Statement
Follow Suzanne Elvidge on Twitter