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FOREST TO GAIN ESGIC, MAILING LISTS IN $10 MIL. PURCHASE

Executive Summary

FOREST TO GAIN ESGIC, MAILING LISTS IN $10 MIL. PURCHASE of Gilbert Labs, Forest announced in a May 2 press release. "We expect this transaction to provide important long and short term benefits to Forest -- an immediate increase in earnings and a major new product which we expect to increase in sales and profitability," stated Forest president Howard Solomon. The buyout, for $10 mil. in Forest stock, will be accounted for as a pooling of interests. Esgic, a butalbital/caffeine/acetaminophen Rx combo for headache, is Gilbert's only product. Marketed solely through direct mail promotion to prescribing physicians, Esgic has increased its sales base by "not less that 25% per annum" over the last four years. Its current annual volume is approximately $3 mil., the release noted. Forest has indicated that it will use the 71-person detail force it acquired last December when the company purchased O'Neal, Jones & Feldman to market Esgic to "doctors not presently aware of this excellent product." The firm currently markets a similar butalbital/acetaminophen combo product known as Bancap. At a February analysts' meeting in New York, Forest indicated that it would concentrate a major portion of the initial marketing efforts of its new sales force on a related product, Bancap HC ("The Pink Sheet" March 11, p. 7). To complement the efforts of its detail force, Forest plans to enter the business of direct mail promotion of other Forest pharmaceutical products using Gilbert's "valuable lists of doctors who read their mail." Solomon indicated that Gilbert's founder, Paul Finstad, will continue as president of the new Forest subsidiary and "participate in the marketing of other Forest products."

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