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Ironbridge, Archer sell iNova medicines distributor for up to A$700M

Tuesday 22nd November 2011

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Canada-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has agreed to pay up to A$700 million (NZ$922.3 million) for medicines distributor iNova which is owned by private equity firms Ironbridge, Archer Capital and minority management shareholders.

Valeant will pay an initial A$625 million for iNova, which sells both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines including the Duromine, Difflam and Duro Tuss brands, and up to A$75 million if specified milestones are met.

INova is the Asia-Pacific, including Australian and New Zealand, and South African operations of US multinational conglomerate 3M which Archer and Ironbridge bought in late 2006 for A$450 million.

Valeant said it expects 2011 revenues will be about A$200 million with an operating margin of about 40%. Revenues have grown at about 10% a year for the last four years and iNova should be immediately earnings accretive for Valeant, it said.

“This transaction not only transforms our operations in the Australian market but provides us with a beachhead in both Southeast Asia and South Africa,” Valean chairman and chief executive J. Michael Pearson said in a statement.

“INova has a talented management team that has created a strong business operation ahead of an intended initial public offering and, with current market softness, Valeant has a unique opportunity to acquire iNova,” he said.

Archer and Ironbridge had been trying to sell iNova for about two years. The price Valeant will pay falls short of the A$850 million the private equity firms were reportedly seeking.

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