Meda AB Sues 3M Over Sale of European Drug Business

Meda AB, the Swedish pharmaceutical company, sued 3M Co. over its 2006 acquisition of the U.S. company’s European drug business, claiming 3M kept secret an agreement to cut the price of its best-selling product.

Meda claims St. Paul, Minnesota-based 3M failed to disclose, during negotiations over the sale, that it had signed an agreement with French regulators requiring it to reduce the price of Flecaine CR, a drug used to prevent heart arrhythmias that was the European unit’s biggest revenue producer.

“In considering whether to acquire, and how much to pay for, the business, the amount that could be charged for the business’ single largest drug, in that drug’s largest market, was of critical importance to Meda,” the Solna, Sweden-based company said in a complaint filed today in New York state court in Manhattan.

Meda said 3M broke its contract and violated an implied promise of good faith and fair dealing under New York law. Meda asked for $200 million in damages.

“Meda first expressed concerns about this transaction long after it occurred,” said Donna Fleming Runyon, a spokeswoman for 3M. She said 3M looked into the issues Meda raised and determined they were groundless. The company plans to defend itself in the suit, she said.

The case is Meda AB v. 3M Co., 652357/2010, New York State Supreme Court (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Van Voris in New York at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David E. Rovella at drovella@bloomberg.net.

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