Elan Makes Two Acquisitions for $380 Million

Elan Corp. (ELN) acquired AOP Orphan Pharmaceuticals AG for 263.5 million euros ($340 million), expanding its business into medicines for rare diseases as it resists a takeover bid from Royalty Pharma.

The purchase of Vienna-based AOP Orphan is the second acquisition this month. Elan also bought a 48 percent stake in Dubai-based NewBridge Pharmaceuticals for $40 million, and plans to issue $800 million in debt to take advantage of attractive interest rates, the company said in a statement today.

More acquisitions will be announced over the next six to 18 months, Chief Executive Officer Kelly Martin said in an interview. The Dublin-based company is resisting a takeover bid of about $5.7 billion by Royalty Pharma. Elan made a $1 billion investment in Theravance Inc. (THRX)’s royalties this month.

“We still see very significant opportunities in terms of molecules, geographic businesses and commercial products,” Martin said. With the additional debt capital, “we will have plenty of powder to spend over the next six to 18 months.”

AOP Orphan had 59 million euros in revenue in 2012, mostly in central and eastern Europe. The company has four experimental drugs in late-stage testing in hematology, cancer, heart disease and lung disease.

NewBridge, focused on Africa, the Middle East and Turkey, specializes in “in-licensing, acquiring, registering and commercializing approved pharmaceuticals and biologics products,” Elan said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Makiko Kitamura in London at mkitamura1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kristen Hallam at khallam@bloomberg.net

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