Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Belgium-based Uteron Pharma SA for $150 million in cash up front, and up to $155 million in potential future milestone payments. The acquisition of Uteron expands Watson’s Global Brands pipeline of Women’s Health products including two potential near term global commercial opportunities in contraception and infertility, and one novel oral contraceptive, projected to launch globally in 2018. Several additional products in earlier stages of development are also included in the acquisition. The Company said the transaction is expected to be minimally dilutive to non-GAAP earnings in 2013 and 2014, and accretive in 2015.
“This is a strategic acquisition of a solid pipeline, sound development expertise, and sufficient manufacturing capacity to generate value for shareholders within the next two years, and provide the potential of multiple global product introductions through the latter half of the decade,” said Fred Wilkinson, President of Watson Global Brands and Biosimilars. “We have structured the financials of the acquisition to reflect the immediate value of the late stage pipeline, with approximately $45 million in near-term milestones and appropriately balancing the development risks and investments required to commercialize these assets, when compared to the longer-term opportunities.
“The acquisition capitalizes on the growing potential of the expanded global commercial footprint for our Women’s Health Brand franchise following the Actavis acquisition. As a result of the Uteron acquisition, Watson welcomes the opportunity to access resources within the Walloon Region of Belgium, and acquires a valuable source of research and innovation. We also look forward to expanding our R & D team with the inclusion of the research and clinical professionals in Liege, Belgium as well as continuing their ongoing collaborations with the University of Liege. This transaction is a first step in fulfilling our promise to enhance our branded opportunities globally, while creating near term revenue for Global Brands and further expanding our Women’s Health development portfolio.” Uteron’s executive team including Co-CEO and co-founder Stijn Van Rompay and CSO and co-founder Professor Jean-Michel Foidart, will continue to manage Uteron, which will become a key part of research and development activities of an enlarged and growing Women’s Health business for Watson.
“We believe this transaction provides excellent value for our shareholders and validates the potential of Uteron Pharma’s strong product pipeline, which is a result of great dedication and hard work of our extremely talented employee partners. We are pleased that Watson has committed to long term development of our product portfolio in the Walloon region and the continued collaboration with the University of Liege,” said Francois Fornieri, Co-CEO of Uteron Pharma.
“Uteron Pharma has developed a strong pipeline of innovative products in different stages of development in the area of women’s health, based on strong in-house research capabilities combined with deep partnerships with other scientific-led groups, such as Pantarhei Bioscience, which initiated and co-developed Estelle, one of our pipeline products. Joining forces with Watson provides an excellent opportunity to advance our product portfolio further and leverage the global commercial platform of Watson. We look forward to working together with Watson to bring products to market which will have a significant impact on women’s lives,” said Stijn Van Rompay, Co-CEO of Uteron Pharma.