Private equity-backed Crealta Pharmaceuticals LLC is buying bankrupt Savient Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: SVNT) for $120.4 million.

The deal was reached after Crealta was the highest bidder at a bankruptcy auction held Dec. 10. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in Wilmington is set to preside over a sale hearing to confirm the deal on Dec. 13.

Under the agreement, Crealta will buy Savient’s pharmaceutical portfolio, which contains gout medication Krystexxa. Crealta, headquartered in Lake Forest, Ill., is a pharmaceutical company backed by Chicago private equity firm GTCR.

The company beat out stalking-horse bidder US WorldMeds LLC, which led the auction with a $54.99 million bid. Crealta’s bid also included the assumption of certain liabilities, according to court documents. US WorldMeds is entitled to a $1.65 million breakup fee since it did not win the auction. The court approved the bidding procedures, with US WorldMeds as stalking-horse, on Nov. 4.

Savient filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Oct. 14, with $73.8 million in assets and $260.4 million in liabilities. The company sought bankruptcy protection after experiencing years of losses as it was commercializing Krystexxa, according to court documents.

The company had taken several steps to raise capital, including a stock offering that raised $61.4 million in October 2009 and the issuance of convertible notes, which gave the company $222.7 million. The company, in May 2012, issued senior secured notes to raise an additional $43 million.

Despite increases in product price and sales, the company was operating with significant losses. The company hired Lazard in March to advise them on a restructuring, sale or financing transaction.

Before the bankruptcy filing, in May, Savient laid off 27 employees, or about 21 percent of its workforce. In September the company got rid of another 4 employees to reduce operating expenses.

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP and Cole Schotz Meisel Forman & Leonard PA are Savient’s legal advisers, while Lazard is working as financial adviser. Kirkland & Ellis LLP is Crealta’s legal counsel.

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