Akorn Shares Plunge as Fresenius Investigates Company -- Update

02/26/18 07:11 PM EST
By Maria Armental 

German health-care company Fresenius SE & Co. said Monday it is looking into possible product development data breaches at Akorn Inc., a probe that could potentially derail its purchase of the U.S. generic- drugs manufacturer.

Following the disclosure, Akorn shares lost more than one-third of their value, dropping to around $19 in after-hours trading. An Akorn representative couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

On Monday, Fresenius said that it was working with external experts on an independent investigation of possible breaches of U.S. Food and Drug Administration data-integrity requirements on product development at Akorn. Fresenius didn't immediately disclose what triggered the investigation.

Fresenius, which continues to seek regulatory approval for its acquisition, said its management and supervisory boards would assess the investigation's findings. The company said it doesn't intend to give additional updates as the investigation proceeds.

Fresenius pursued Akorn, in a deal then valuing Akorn at more than $3.7 billion, to strengthen the generic-drug business of its Fresenius Kabi unit. Akorn's wide-ranging product portfolio includes injectables, oral liquids, nasal sprays and respiratory drugs almost exclusively sold in the U.S.

The agreement the companies reached last year called for the deal to close by April 24, a deadline that could be extended up to six months. Under certain conditions Akorn could be required to pay a $129 million deal termination fee, according to the agreement.

Write to Maria Armental at maria.armental@wsj.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 26, 2018 19:11 ET (00:11 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.