Actavis CEO Bisaro to Become Executive Chairman

Actavis Plc (ACT) Chief Executive Officer Paul Bisaro will become executive chairman after the generic-drug maker completes its $25 billion purchase of Forest Laboratories Inc. (FRX), with the head of acquired company succeeding him as CEO.

Bisaro will continue to run the board of directors and maintain oversight of the strategic management of the company, based in Dublin and run from Parsippany, New Jersey. Forest CEO Brent Saunders will take the same post in the combined company, leading the drugmaker’s $15 billion global pharmaceutical business after the deal is completed at midyear, Actavis said in a statement today announcing a range of senior positions.

Actavis, the world’s second-largest generic-drug maker by market value, agreed to buy Forest in February to add branded medicines including Alzheimer’s treatment Namenda and blood-pressure pill Bystolic to its lineup. The deal also will provide the company with more than $1 billion in cost savings and bring Forest’s products to more markets.

Announcing the appointments now “will remove uncertainty during the integration planning phase prior to close, as well as ensure continuity of management,” Bisaro said in the statement.

When the deal was announced Actavis said management teams of both companies would maintain executive roles.

Sigurdur Olafsson, president of Actavis Pharma, will leave the company, Actavis said. Actavis’s Robert Stewart, president of Actavis Global Operations, will become chief operating officer. Forest’s Bill Meury will be executive vice president of commercial North American brands, and Actavis’s David Buchen will be EVP of North American generics and international.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sonali Basak in New York at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Reg Gale at Bruce Rule

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