Akorn Inc. (Nasdaq: AKRX) is buying generic drug developer VersaPharm for $440 million in cash—the latest example of a consolidating pharmaceutical sector.
The Marietta, Georgia-based company produces medicine that treats tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. The transaction cues an exit for New York private equity firm Tailwind Capital, which has owned VersaPharm since 2007. Tailwind, which was spun off from San Francisco-based investment bank Thomas Weisel Partners in 2006, is an active acquirer of healthcare businesses and communication services.
Lake Forest, Ill.-based Akorn said it plans to fund the deal through about $445 million in term loan borrowings.
JP Morgan Securities LLC is advising Akorn on the deal, while Kirkland & Ellis LLP handles legal matters. BMO Capital Markets Corp. ran the sale process for VersaPharm. Kelley Drye & Warren LLP acted as legal adviser.
With more strategic buyers looking for pharmaceutical companies with new drugs in their pipelines, VersaPharm is the latest in a string of middle-market players to be purchased. Actavis plc, the world’s second-largest generic drug maker by market value, is currently in the process of buying Forest Laboratories Inc. Separately, Forest recently acquired Furiex Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $1.1 billion in cash to expand offerings of medicines for digestive disorders.
For more pharmaceutical coverage, see Experts Corner: Pursuing Pharma Manufacturing, Icon Procures PE-Backed Clincal-Trial Designer Aptiv and The Buyside: Mid-Market Pharma Firms Vie for Targets.