Eli Lily to divest US veterinary assets to Virbac

Eli Lily & Co today agreed to sell a majority of its veterinary assets in the US to French veterinary specialist Virbac for an undisclosed sum.

The sale comes a few weeks after the Indianapolis–based company announced plans to end production and pursue the sale of one of its three manufacturing plants in Puerto Rico.

Eli Lily will sell a majority of its US veterinary products currently marketed by Novartis Animal Health. It has agreed to divest these US assets in light of the US Federal Trade Commission's review of its pending acquisition of Novartis Animal Health worldwide.

Under the terms of the deal, Virbac would acquire a combination of titles and rights for the US on trademarks, marketing authorisations, patents, know-how, customer lists and other assets, related to two major parasiticides for dogs: Sentinel Flavor Tabs and Sentinel Spectrum, currently marketed in the US by Novartis Animal Health.

In the US, Sentinel Flavor tablets and Sentinel Spectrum are expected to reach total revenues of approximately $90 to $100 million in 2014.

Virbac, based in France, said that the acquisition of these strong brands and commercial franchise to its current portfolio of products offered to veterinary clinics and pet owners in the US will strengthen its presence and penetration in the US companion animal veterinary market.

The deal is condition to the closing of the Novartis Animal Health acquisition by Eli Lilly.

Founded in 1968 by a French veterinarian, Virbac is an independent pharmaceutical company exclusively dedicated to animal health. Ranked 8th worldwide and present in more than 100 countries, the company offers a range of products and services for veterinarians, farmers and animal owners.

It has an annual turnover of €736 million, has 4,350 employees at production sites in 10 countries and R&D centres around the world.