Some analysts called it a cheap trick when Forest Laboratories said it would stop making the Alzheimer's drug Namenda this fall so it could push patients to switch to their new long-acting version as generic rivals to the original loom. New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman calls the tactic something else: illegal.
There are winners and losers in mergers, and as a general rule, executives win and at least some workers lose. That certainly is the case with Actavis and Forest Laboratories. While nearly 200 Forest employees in the St. Louis, MO, area got pink slips this week, top execs will receive up to $186 million in "merger success awards" for closing the $25 billion deal.
In an about-face, Forest Laboratories says it will continue to sell its original version of the Alzheimer's treatment Namenda into the fall of 2014, rather than taking it off the market in August.
Back in February, notorious rebel investor Carl Icahn promoted a Forest deal to sell itself to Actavis as a momentous victory for shareholders. But while investors may have agreed with the principle of a transaction, it turns out not all of them were so happy with the way Forest made the sale--and to whom.
When Actavis CEO Paul Bisaro announced his big buyout of Forest Laboratories, he sketched a picture of a brand-plus-generic powerhouse with lower costs and bigger revenue prospects. Now, it will be Forest CEO Brent Saunders who colors in those lines as chief executive of the merged company.
Forest Laboratories Chairman Howard Solomon is on the verge of reaping $46.7 million, thanks to Forest's impending $25 billion merger with the generics bigwig Actavis, according to newly filed Securities and Exchange Commission documents.
While many drugmakers were marveling over Pfizer's big bid for AstraZeneca or speculating about which megadeal might come next, a few big pharma companies rolled out their first-quarter earnings reports. Let's give them their due. Besides, we can't be all deals, all the time. Here are the highlights--or, given the almost-uniform slide in sales, the lowlights.
Pharma's M&A fever may be most obvious among the industry's biggest players, but smaller companies are making their own bids, transformational and otherwise.
Furiex has landed its big buyout deal. After Furiex nabbed promising late-stage data on a new drug for irritable bowel syndrome and virtually slapping a "for sale" sign on the company, Forest Labs has swooped in to buy the biotech company for $1.1 billion and potentially $360 million in contingent value rights.
Irritable bowel syndrome is tricky. Symptoms come and go, they vary from person to person, and they're not dinner-table conversation. But Forest Laboratories and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals need to get patients talking about their IBS with constipation--because they have a drug for that.