Allergan Evaluates Bids for its Lap-Band Weight Loss Product

Allergan Inc., the maker of the Botox wrinkle treatment, said it is evaluating offers for the company’s Lap-Band weight loss product and the rest of the obesity-treatment unit.

The Botox maker, which reclassified the obesity unit as a discontinued operation in February, reiterated today in a statement that it anticipates a signed agreement by the middle of 2013. Chief Executive Officer David Pyott in January said he wanted to sell the business by the end of the first quarter as demand for the weight-loss surgery plummeted and safety questions soared.

The discontinued business, which once generated a third of the company’s U.S. sales, posted earnings of $400,000 during the first quarter, down from $1.9 million a year earlier, the Irvine, California-based company said. Allergan took a $346.2 million pretax charge in the first quarter to write down the obesity unit assets to their estimated fair value, less the cost to sell them.

Allergan fell 5.6 percent to $107.23 at 11 a.m. in New York. The shares had risen 18 percent in the past 12 months through yesterday.

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