Germany’s Fresenius agrees to buy Akorn for $4.3bn plus debt

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German healthcare company Fresenius on Monday said that it had agreed to acquire Akorn, a US-based generic drug manufacturer for about $4.3bn plus debt, as well as a separate purchased of Merck’s biosimilars business.

Fresenius, which specialises in sterile injectable medicines, will pay $34 a share plus about $450m of net debt for Akorn, which makes over-the-counter nasal sprays and eye drops and expects to generate sales of between $1.01bn to $1.06bn in 2017. The deal will be financed by a mix of euro- and dollar-denominated debt instruments.

Akorn shares had rallied 18 per cent earlier this month when Fresenius confirmed that it was in talks to buy Akorn. Shares were halted in extended trading on Monday and are up nearly 50 per cent so far this year.

Mid-term, the acquisition is expected to create cost and growth synergies of about $100m per year on a pre-tax basis. Fresenius expects the acquisition to be accretive to net income next year and to contribute positively from 2019 onwards, including integration costs.

The transaction, which is expected to close by early 2018, is subject to regulatory approval.

Fresenius also said that it would buy Merck’s biosimilars business — near-identical versions of existing biologic drugs — for €170m in cash with an additional €500m in milestone payments tied to achievements of development targets.

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