The Medical Technology Blog

Eurand, a manufacturer of enhanced pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical products, has accepted a US$583 million takeover offer from Axcan holdings, a leading pharma company focused on gastro-intestinal disorders. Axcan is going to acquire all outstanding shares of Elan for US$12.00 per share, making for a diluted equity value of US$583 million. The deal is subject to a condition that a minimum of 80 per cent of Eurand shares are tendered, as well as receipt of antitrust approval.

Independent directors at Eurand – made up of non-management and non-majority shareholder Directors – unanimously voted in favour of the union with Axcan, and also recommended that its shareholders accept the offer. It is thought the transaction will close in the second quarter of 2011.

In the last few years, Eurand has transformed itself from a licence and development drug formulation company into a fully-integrated specialty pharma business, through the development and launch, in particular, of Zenpep (pancrelipase) delayed-release capsules. Gearoid Faherty, Eurand’s Chairman and CEO, is expected to remain in these roles until the end of this year. At that time, John J Fraher, currently Chief Commercial Officer of Eurand, will become CEO and Angelo C Malahias, Chairman of Eurand’s Special Committee, will become Non-executive Chairman.

The rationale behind the deal is that the combined Eurand/Axcan company will have a bigger presence in the specialty pharma sector. Dr Frank Verweil, the current President and CEO of Axcan, believes that merging the two companies’ portfolios will create a new organisation with a bigger product offering, broader geographic reach and more robust R&D pipeline.

Thanks to Sophie Bracken for this article, Sophie is editor of Espicom’s newsletter Drug Delivery Insight click on the link now to start your subscription!

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