Amid buyout chatter, Endo taps Valeant exec as CEO

Incoming Endo CEO Rajiv De Silva

Will the talk of an Endo Health Solutions ($ENDP) buyout wind down now that it has hired a new CEO? Or will the company's choice, Rajiv De Silva, step in to shepherd it toward a sale?

Endo has been on the checklist of potential deals since the beginning of the month, when news surfaced that it had been in talks with some potential buyers, including Warner Chilcott ($WCRX) and Valeant Pharmaceuticals ($VRX). With CEO David P. Holveck retiring in May, the story went, Endo shareholders might be willing to sell. Even AstraZeneca ($AZN), which needs deals posthaste, might take a look.

In fact, one Endo shareholder wants very badly to sell, sources close to the company later told Bloomberg. Fidelity Investments reportedly has been pressuring the board to sell, now that Holveck is on his way out the door. Not only has Fidelity been lobbying in the boardroom, but it has contacted potential buyers, too.

Welcoming De Silva to the fold, Endo Chairman Roger Kimmel sounded more growth-oriented than deal-oriented. "Rajiv is a strong leader with the deep industry experience, outcome-oriented approach, and proven ability to drive results the Board was seeking in our next CEO," Kimmel said in a statement. "His track record in generating growth and profitability, managing complex integrations, and delivering for shareholders will serve us well."

Interestingly enough, De Silva is former president of Valeant, one of those rumored suitors. He'll have plenty of building to do in his new job. Its Lidoderm product got generic competition last year, and copycat rivals for the Opana ER pain pill are looming. In December, the company downgraded its earnings prospects for 2012 and scaled back expectations for 2013 sales and profits.

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- see the Bloomberg story