Catalent sues United Drug over alleged breach of trust

During a conference call with analysts last year, United Drug's CEO disclosed that Catalent was selling its packaging business. Fast-forward a year later and Catalent has filed a lawsuit, saying the disclosure was a breach of confidentiality.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, Catalent was shopping around its packaging unit last summer, according to the suit, and United Drug expressed interest in acquiring it for $80 million. United Drug CEO Liam FitzGerald said during two conference calls that the unit was for sale and suggested that it had underperformed, according to the lawsuit. After months of confidential talks, United Drug didn't follow through with the deal, and Catalent sold its packaging outfit to Frazier Healthcare Ventures at a price below the $80 million previously discussed, the newspaper reports.

Now, Catalent is seeking undisclosed damages, claiming that United Drug breached a confidentiality agreement and damaged the sale. The company alleges that FitzGerald's openness destabilized the sale process and drove down the unit's market value.

United Drug has filed a motion to dismiss the suit, saying Catalent "has not stated a claim on which relief can be granted," Outsourcing-Pharma reports, and the company said in a statement that it "strongly refutes all [Catalent's] allegations of wrongdoing."

For good measure, United Drug still walked away with a drug packaging acquisition, agreeing last week to buy Bilcare's clinical supply unit for $61 million.

- read the WSJ story (sub. req.)
- get more from Outsourcing-Pharma
- here's United Drug's release on the Bilcare buy
- get another take from FiercePharmaManufacturing

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