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akorn file

The Akorn Pharmaceuticals manufacturing facility on the near-northwest side of Decatur. 

BERLIN — The European healthcare company that said last year it would buy Akorn Pharmaceuticals is backing out of the $4.3 billion deal, citing alleged breaches of data integrity requirements.

But Akorn, which has two facilities and more than 300 employees in Decatur, is fighting back. The generic drug maker on Monday asked a Delaware Chancery Court to force Germany-based Fresenius Kabi to continue with the merger agreement the two made a year ago.

“We intend to vigorously enforce our rights, and Fresenius’ obligations, under our binding merger agreement,” Akorn said in a statement.


Akorn Pharmaceuticals employers work the line inside one of its Decatur plants in this Herald & Review file photo. Akorn develops, manufactures and markets prescription pharmaceuticals and animal and consumer health products.

Fresenius announced its decision to back out Sunday, citing Akorn’s "failure to fulfill several closing conditions."

The move comes 2 ½ months after the companies had said they were investigating allegations of “deficiencies and misconduct” in Akorn's process for developing new drugs. A top official at Fresenius Kabi told investors that the information came from an anonymous source.

Based in Lake Forest, Illinois, Akorn makes a wide range of products that include topical creams, ointments and gels, oral liquids, ear and eye solutions and respiratory drugs. It’s unclear what the potential sale or its collapse would mean for the company’s operations in Decatur.

Fresenius Kabi officials had said they wanted to buy Akorn as a way to expand product offerings in the United States. The company sells blood transfusion equipment, infusion pumps, clinical nutrition products and sterile injectable drugs that are used in hospitals and clinics.

The acquisition has been in the works since April 2017, when both companies said they hoped to close the deal early this year. Both boards approved the agreement, under which Fresenius would acquire Akorn for $4.3 billion and take on about $450 million of debt.

Akorn has invested heavily in its Decatur facilities in recent years. The $25 million expansion of its facility at 1222 W. Grand Ave. broke ground in October 2016, and includes a new lab and pilot plant.

Last year, Akorn also opened a 30,000-square-foot expansion to its packaging facility on Wyckles Road.

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BERLIN — Germany's Fresenius and U.S.-based pharmaceutical manufacturer Akorn Inc. are at odds over the German company's decision to terminate a more than $4.3 billion takeover agreement, citing alleged breaches of data integrity requirements.

Fresenius said Sunday it would terminate the year-old deal to acquire Akorn, based in Lake Forest, Illinois, citing its "failure to fulfill several closing conditions."

Akorn replied that it "categorically disagrees" with Fresenius' accusations and intends "to vigorously enforce our rights, and Fresenius' obligations, under our binding merger agreement."

Fresenius confirmed its 2018 guidance. On Saturday, its Fresenius Medical Care division announced the sale of its controlling stake in Sound Inpatient Physicians Holdings to a consortium led by Summit Partners, a $2.15 billion transaction.

Fresenius SE shares were little changed in Frankfurt trading Monday at 65.78 euros ($80.80).


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