Endo International seeks assets sale to reduce $8-bn debt

Ireland-based specialty healthcare company Endo International Plc has held talks with private equity firms on selling some assets in order to reduce its more than $8 billion debt, Reuters yesterday reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Endo, which has a market cap of $3 billion, has been exploring several options, including an asset swap with another company, the report said.

The Dublin-based company has seen its shares drop by 77 per cent this year and investors are concerned that the downward spiral of drug prices could upset its acquisition-driven business model, the report added.

Run by Rajeev Da Silva, Endo, which relocated to Ireland from Pennsylvania, is one of several drug companies lately using their lower-tax foreign base as springboards for acquisitions.

De Silva is keen on a series of acquisitions to quickly expand Endo, a business model he helped at his previous job at Canada's Valeant Pharmaceuticals, where he was a top executive before joining Endo in 2013.

In March, Endo lost a bidding war to Valeant for Salix Pharmaceuticals, a deal that would have been its largest by far at more than $11 billion, including debt.

Among its recent big deals was its $8-billion acquisition last year of Par Pharmaceuticals.

This acquisition gave Endo around 100 products in multiple dosage forms and delivery systems, including oral solids, oral suspensions, injectables and high barrier-to-entry products. Additionally the deal brought more than 200 Abbreviated New Drug Applications, 115 of which were filed with the US Food and Drug Administration.

Last year it also acquired a large portfolio of anti-pain anti-infectives, cardiovascular and other therapeutics areas from Aspen Holdings for $130 million. The deal included products that are currently on the market, as well as drug therapies that are currently in developmental stages.

Endo also acquired 60 on-market products and nearly 70 pipeline programs in research phases, and Auxilium Pharmaceuticals for $2.6 billion, Boca Pharmacal for $225 million and DAVA Pharmaceuticals for $575 million.

Endo International was founded in 1997 through a management buyout from DuPont Merck.

It develops and sells branded pharmaceutical, generic and device products.