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Fresenius confirms takeover talks with Akorn

Published on 10/04/17 at 09:11am

Fresenius, Europe’s largest publicly traded healthcare provider, has engaged in discussions with Akorn, a pharmaceutical generics drugmaker, with a view to acquire the company. The move is consistent with Stephan Sturm’s, Fresenius’ CEO, previous statements regarding expanding the company through acquisitions.

Akorn has a market value of around $3.7 billion so the cost would not be insignificant for Fresenius. It would also have to find a way to integrate the generics producer into its current business. It is thought that Akorn could become part of Fresenius’ Kabi medicines division. This would be consistent with previous methods of bolstering the division, with numerous acquisitions over the past decade expanding its role, with the division now responsible for a fifth of the company’s revenue.

Akorn manufactures a range of branded and generic versions of ophthalmic, injectable and specialty sterile and non-sterile pharmaceuticals. The company has manufacturing bases in the US, with three different sites, as well as two sites outside of the US, in Switzerland and India. Akorn had recently announced the breaking of ground in Decatur, expanding its current facility there in a $25 million project.

In a statement, Akorn said: “Entry into a formal agreement with respect to a transaction remains subject to, among other things, approval by the Executive Board and Supervisory Board of Fresenius Management SE and the board of directors of Akorn.

“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 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.”

Both companies released the same statement and the takeover talk has led to Akorn’ share price spiking 18% of the news. A takeover of Akorn would be Fresenius second acquisition since Sturm came to the helm, after the company agreed to buy Spanish hospital group IDC Salud Holding SLU for € 5.76 billion.

Ben Hargreaves

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