German firm pledges $4.6B for APP Pharma

A German company is snapping up APP Pharmaceuticals in a deal worth more than $4.6 billion. Fresenius, an $18 billion company that sells products and services to hospitals and home healthcare groups, says the buyout will expand its presence in the lucrative U.S. market.

APP, you'll recall, has been in the news this year as the sole remaining U.S. producer of the blood thinner heparin. When Baxter saw its heparin production contaminated, it stopped making most of its heparin products; APP didn't have the same contamination problems, so it ramped up to try to fill the supply gap. APP also makes other injectables such as vitamin supplements, hormones, and diruretics.

An interesting side note: APP's recently-ex CEO Patrick Soon-Shiong owns some 83 percent of its stock, so you can bet he's saying ka-ching! Also CEO and a major investor in Abraxis BioScience, Soon-Shiong's share of the APP buyout could amount to as much as $3.8 billion if certain performance targets are met.

- read the Wall Street Journal story
- see the article in the Los Angeles Times