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SOLOPAK PLANS INCLUDE RESTRUCTURING, POSSIBLE IPO

Executive Summary

SOLOPAK PLANS INCLUDE RESTRUCTURING, POSSIBLE IPO following the Nov. 4 cash purchase of the Smith & Nephew subsidiary by the New York investment firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe and former Goldline Labs President Otto Nonnenmann. "In addition to expanding the product line" of generic injectables and prefilled syringe products, "increasing the investment in R&D and restructuring the company, long-term plans may include taking the company public," Nonnenmann/WCAS said Nov. 5. Solopak revenues this year are expected to be about $32 mil. Solopak plans to bring in a new upper management level, including a financial officer, a sales and marketing exec and a senior scientist, to perform duties previously handled by Smith & Nephew. The purchase price for Solopak was not disclosed. WCAS purchased about 90% of the firm and Nonnenmann purchased the balance. Under a proposed acquisition announced in March, Ivax was to pay $19 mil. in cash for the company. The deal was called off this summer because "conditions to the consummation of the acquisition were not satisfied," Ivax said ("The Pink Sheet" June 8, In Brief). Nonnenmann is the new president and CEO of Solopak, now renamed Solopak Pharmaceuticals. Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe co-founder Patrick Welsh will be Solopak's chairman. Capitalized at $1.3 bil., WCAS specializes in equity purchases of companies in the health care industry. Solopak's new president moves to the firm from the same position at Goldline Labs. Previous Solopak Acting President Keith Tattersall remains with Smith & Nephew. Nonnenmann's post at Ivax generic distribution drug subsidiary Goldline will be filled by former Goldline VP Bill Schreck. Nonnenmann hopes to continue to be involved with Goldline by reviving a 12-product distribution agreement that was initiated in mid-1991 but never got underway ("The Pink Sheet" June 10, 1991, In Brief). Currently, Solopak has about 120 ANDAs. Prior to joining Goldline as president in 1987, Nonnenmann spent 18 years at Bristol-Myers. From 1983 to 1987, he was CEO of Bristol-Myers GmbH/West Germany. Solopak owns a 92,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility for generic injectable drugs in Elk Grove, Ill. In Franklin Park, Ill., the company has a 32,000 sq. ft. facility for production of prefilled syringe products. The firm employs over 300 full-time workers. Solopak has been the object of FDA scrutiny recently regarding its manufacturing processes. In August, FDA issued a warning letter to the firm citing deficiencies in good manufacturing practices regulations in its sterile manufacturing operations observed in a March-May inspection ("The Pink Sheet" Sept. 28, T&G-14). FDA's Chicago division is expected to finish an inspection of Solopak's Franklin Park, Ill. facility this week.
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