Allergan names new CFO as it works its way through financial steeplechase

Allergan has named a new CFO, having snagged the top financial exec at Catalent. (Image: Pixabay)

Allergan, which is maneuvering through a host of financial challenges, has landed a new CFO who can help figure out how to pay for the fixes and calm investors.

The Ireland-based drugmaker today announced that it has named Matthew Walsh CFO and an executive VP. He starts later this month after wrapping up business at Catalent, where he has served as CFO for the last decade.

“Matt brings to Allergan a unique combination of skills, including a technical background, a deep understanding of the healthcare industry, a rich experience across financial disciplines, and the ability to lead complex health care organizations," said Allergan CEO Brent Saunders said in a statement.

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Walsh will replace Tessa Hilado, who announced in September that she would retire when a replacement was found. She has been at Allergan for more than three years, overseeing changes like the company’s transformative deal to buy Allergan and its subsequent $40.5 billion sale of its generics business to Teva.

That sale to Teva is one of those challenges with which Allergan has been dealing. It last week announced it had reached a settlement in which Teva in which it would adjust the final sale price by $700 million. That is half the $1.4 billion first asked for by the Israeli drugmaker, which bought the unit as pricing for the U.S. generics market were crumbling.

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Meanwhile, Allergan has generic concerns of its own. Last month it said it would lay off 1,000 employees and cut 400 more unfilled jobs in the face earlier-than-expected copies of its blockbuster eye drug Restasis, its second-biggest seller. The cuts are expected to trim $300 million to $400 million off the operating cost total it posted for 2017, although it will be offset by a one-time $125 million restructuring bill.

Some industry watchers, though, would have preferred to see Allergan take a different tack. RBC Capital Markets' Randall Stanicky, for one, has been lobbying for a company breakup he says could generate $6 billion from a women's health sale alone.

Walsh will get to help with those moves, for which he will be paid an $800,000 base salary and an annual bonus up to $825,000, as well as stock-based compensation and other incentives.

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