Valeant agrees to buy OraPharma

Expands into oral healthcare

Valeant Pharmaceuticals, an acquisitive Canada-headquartered specialist pharmaceutical firm, has agreed to buy OraPharma, a US firm that specialises in oral healthcare.

Valeant will pay around US$312m for OraPharma, which is owned by private equity firm Water Street Healthcare Partners. The transaction also includes $114m in potential contingent payments based on certain milestones, including revenue targets.

OraPharma's leading product is Arestin, an antibiotic for periodontitis. Revenues for the year ending 31 March were around US$95m with the business growing at a ‘high single digit rate’. The firm claims to have the largest specialised pharmaceutical sales force in the dental industry.

Valeant’s chief executive Michael Pearson said: ‘We are excited to enter a new attractive market segment with an already established sales infrastructure focused entirely on the dental community.’

He added: ‘We believe that this market segment has similar characteristics to the dermatology, podiatry and ophthalmology markets and should offer us the opportunity to cross-sell some of our current products, most notably our new topical prescription cold sore medication, Xerese.’

The transaction is expected to close during June, subject to certain closing conditions.

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