TPG buys back Aptalis' Pharmatech unit from Actavis

Actavis ($ACT) says it needs to concentrate on integrating the manufacturing network it will soon get from Allergan ($AGN) and so decided to sell back to private equity investor TPG a small piece of Aptalis. TPG sold Aptalis to Forest Laboratories a year ago just ahead of Forest's buyout by Actavis.

TPG is buying Aptalis Pharmaceutical Technologies, known as Pharmatech, for an undisclosed amount, the companies said Friday. Actavis COO Robert Stewart said hiving off Pharmatech would allow Actavis to sharpen its focus on its "existing global supply chain, and on preparing for the expansion of our manufacturing network with the addition of the Allergan facilities following the close of the acquisition later this year." He said the sale would not affect its plan to build its contract manufacturing through its Medis third-party business.

Pharmatech is a specialist in oral drug delivery technology platforms like customized drug release, bioavailability enhancement, and taste masking for orally disintegrating tablets. It has facilities in the U.S., Canada and Europe. The deal is expected to close by midyear.

In January 2014, Forest agreed to buy Aptalis for $2.9 billion, primarily to get its hands on Aptalis' portfolio of gastrointestinal and cystic fibrosis drugs. A month later it agreed to a buyout by Actavis for $25 billion. When Forest bought Aptalis last year, it said that Pharmatech accounted for about 15% of Aptalis' $688 million in annual revenues, or about $103.2 million.

Actavis clearly has plenty to do to integrate both Forest's manufacturing network and soon Allergan's. Last year it voluntarily recalled nearly 95,000 cartons of Bystolic because it failed dissolution testing at the 6-month time point. And that recall followed one in June of 92,544 bottles of Bystolic. The blood pressure med was important to Actavis' buyout of Forest last year. Then in January, Actavis said it was voluntarily recalling different doses of about 2,000 bottles of gabapentin, a generic version of the seizure drug Neurontin. It said it got complaints that capsules were clumping and breaking and that some bottles had rounded bottoms. The company said the drugs were manufactured at a plant in Tamil Nadu, India.

- here's the Actavis release
- and the Aptalis release