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IVAX TO ACQUIRE SOLOPAK FOR $19 MIL. IN CASH

Executive Summary

IVAX TO ACQUIRE SOLOPAK FOR $19 MIL. IN CASH under a proposed agreement announced March 2. Solopak, a division of Smith & Nephew based in Elk Grove Village, Ill., manufactures generic injectable drugs and prefilled syringes. The acquisition "will further our goal of becoming a fully-integrated pharmaceutical company capable of manufacturing all important pharmaceutical dosage forms," Ivax Chairman Phillip Frost, MD, said. Ivax said it expects the deal to close by mid-April, pending Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission review. Ivax' generic distributer subsidiary Goldline, acquired in December, already does business with Solopak. Solopak and Goldline entered into a distribution agreement in June under which Goldline distributes 27 different SKU's of 12 Solopak products: fluorouracil, gentamicin sulfate, haloperidol, heparin, hydroxyzine, magnesium sulfate, metoclopramide, nitroglycerin, phenytoin, prochlorperazine edisylate, propranolol, and trimethobenzamide ("The Pink Sheet" June 10, 1991, In Brief). Goldline estimated that sales of the Solopak line would reach $1 mil. in the first year of the deal. Ivax noted that the merger will allow Goldline to distribute more Solopak products that it currently sources from other firms. The Solopak deal is the latest in a six-month buying spree for Miami-based Ivax. The company announced plans to acquire Goldline and transdermal drug delivery start-up Noven in September and urological products company Willen Drug in December ("The Pink Sheet" Dec. 9, T&G-7). The Noven acquisition fell through because it failed to meet pooling-of-interest accounting requirements ("The Pink Sheet" Oct. 28, 1991, In Brief). The Goldline deal closed Dec. 27 ("The Pink Sheet" Jan. 6, T&G-5), and the Willen buy was completed Feb. 25. Since going public in 1987, Ivax has also acquired Baker Cummins OTC Dermatologics (from Schering-Plough) in 1988, Best Generics in 1989, Harris Pharmaceuticals in 1990, and Medical Marketing Specialties in 1991. Unlike its other recent buys, Ivax proposes to pay cash for Solopak. Goldline was acquired for 1.65 mil. Ivax shares in a deal valued at $63 mil., while Willen was purchased for $11 mil. worth of Ivax stock (371,785 shares). The aborted Noven deal was also to have been stock-based. Smith & Nephew acquired Solopak in 1985 as part of a larger acquisition of Affiliated Hospital Products Inc., of which Solopak was a subsidiary. Smith & Nephew said it decided to divest the generic business because of the difficult regulatory environment created by the generic drug investigations. Solopak manufactures 69 SKUs of pharmaceutical products, and also has a line of syringes and related devices. The firm has "a number" of ANDAs pending, Smith & Nephew said, but has not had any recent approvals. Solopak conducted three recalls in 1991: a Class III recall of heparin and fluorouracil in September and a Class III recall of heparin sodium in July. The heparin recalls were based on potency concerns; the fluorouracil recall was prompted by the presence of dark particulate matter in the product.
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