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Solvay sells pharma division to Abbott for $7.6B

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[September 28, 2009]  BRUSSELS (AP) -- Solvay, the Belgian chemical and pharmaceutical group, said Monday it has agreed to sell its entire pharmaceutical business to Abbott Laboratories of Abbott Park, Illinois, for euro5.2 billion ($7.6 billion).

The American company already holds U.S. marketing rights for Solvay's Trilipix and TriCor, drugs which raise "good" HDL cholesterol while reducing triglycerides and "bad" LDL cholesterol.

Solvay said in a statement the sale will let it "refocus" its activities, which also cover chemicals and plastics.

Solvay said the price Abbott will pay for its pharmaceutical operations includes euro4.5 billion ($6.6 billion) in cash, additional "potential payments" of up to euro300 million ($439 million) and liabilities estimated at euro400 million ($584 million).

It said the sale will be completed in the first quarter of 2010, pending antitrust approval from the EU and U.S.

"We are building a new, refocused group with the financial means to further accelerate sustainable growth," Alois Michielsen, Solvay's chairman, said.

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Abbott makes and markets pharmaceutical and medical products in more than 130 countries and employs more than 72,000 people. In the last year, it has bought contact lens maker Advanced Medical Optics, India-based Wockhart's nutritional business, eye care company Synchrony and Evalve, a maker of heart repair equipment.

Solvay Pharmaceuticals is a group of companies that employs 9,000 people worldwide and had sales of euro2.7 billion in 2008. The Solvay Group as a whole employs more than 29,000 people in 50 countries. Its 2008 consolidated sales were euro9.5 billion.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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