Akorn Shares Plunge as Fresenius Investigates Company -- 2nd Update

02/26/18 08:42 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 derail its purchase of the U.S. generic-drugs manufacturer.

Hours later, Akorn issued a statement saying that it also was looking into the matter and that "to date, the company's investigation has not found any facts that would result in a material impact on Akorn's operations and the company does not believe this investigation should affect the closing of the transaction with Fresenius."

An Akorn representative didn't return calls for further comment.

Akorn shares lost about one-third of their value Monday evening and recently traded at $20.25 after hours.

Monday afternoon, as Fresenius reported financial results, it 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.

Neither Fresenius nor Akorn disclosed 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.

Both companies said they don't intend to give additional updates as the investigation proceeds and they continue to seek regulatory approval for the acquisition.

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 injectable, 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 20:42 ET (01:42 GMT)

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