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Savient Pharmaceuticals Files for Bankruptcy

(Corrects largest unsecured creditor in fourth paragraph of story published yesterday.)

Oct. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Savient Pharmaceuticals Inc., the developer of a treatment for gout, sought bankruptcy protection and court approval to sell its assets to a US WorldMeds LLC unit for $55 million, the company said.

Savient had $260 million in debt and $74 million in assets, according to a filing today in bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Delaware. An agreement with Sloan Holdings CV, a unit of Louisville, Kentucky-based US WorldMeds, calls for Sloan to acquire most of Savient, including the gout drug Krystexxa, for $55 million under a court-supervised auction process, Savient said in a statement.

The Sloan offer sets the floor for the auction, Bridgewater, New Jersey-based Savient said. The company’s largest shareholder is Palo Alto Investors LLC, which owns 15 percent of Savient common stock, followed by Franklin Templeton, with 8 percent, and Wellington Management Co. with 7 percent, according to a court filing.

Holders of $145 million of notes are Savient’s largest unsecured creditor, according to the filing.

As many as 6 million people in the U.S. suffer from gout, a type of arthritis in which deposits of uric acid build up around joints, causing pain, swelling and stiffness, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The case is In Re Savient Pharmaceuticals, 13-12680, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Gullo in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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