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Forbes, Novartis deal

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Forbes Medi-Tech, Novartis plan to close a deal in the "very near future" resolving conflict over Master License Agreement, Forbes President & CEO Charles Butt says in Q1 conference call May 31. Firms had "very productive" meeting in May to resolve disagreement over 1999 MLA; Forbes had claimed Novartis failed to comply with MLA, said it would not pay $4 mil. to buy back Reducol rights (1"The Tan Sheet" March 25, 2002, In Brief). Butt also says Vancouver-based firm has "no immediate plans" to sell off its nutraceuticals, functional food business. In May 30 release, Forbes notes it needs "additional debt or equity financing by September 30, 2002 to meet its planned expenditures"...

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Reducol rights

Forbes Medi-Tech's ability to sell its Phytrol (Reducol) phytosterol ingredient is "materially affected" by Novartis' noncompliance with terms of 1999 Master License Agreement, firm says March 18. Without detailing alleged noncompliance, Forbes notes it was "surprised" by Novartis' and Quaker's termination of Altus Foods joint venture, says Novartis' actions have led to delayed market introduction of certain Phytrol-containing foods. Forbes will not pay $4 mil. to buy back licensing, distribution rights for Reducol, as previously announced, but has notified Novartis it is terminating the MLA. Consequently, all rights to the ingredient, except for the Reducol name, would revert to Forbes on June 18 unless Novartis corrects noncompliance, Forbes says. Novartis believes it has complied with MLA, seeks amicable resolution...

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