Actavis FTC Accord Clears Way for Warner Chilcott Deal

Actavis Inc. agreed to sell assets covering four generic drugs in a settlement with U.S. regulators that clears the way for its $8.5 billion acquisition of Warner Chilcott Plc.

The agreement settles claims by the Federal Trade Commission that the takeover would hurt competition and probably lead to higher prices for consumers because Actavis may otherwise delay entry of generic drugs into the market, the agency said in a statement today.

“The reduction in the number of suppliers likely would have a direct and substantial effect on pricing,” the FTC said.

The settlement calls for Actavis to sell rights and assets related to generic versions of Femcon FE, Loestrin 24 FE, Lo Loestrin FE and Atelvia, according to the FTC. Femcon, Loestrin and Lo Loestrin are oral contraceptives and Atelvia treats osteoporosis.

The buyer will be Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC. No price is given in the FTC statement.

Warner Chilcott makes branded versions of Loestrin 24, Lo Loestrin and Atelvia, and no company sells generics. Parsippany, New Jersey-based Actavis would probably have been their first generic supplier and the merged firm would have had the ability to delay entry of these generics, the FTC said.

Under the deal announced in May, Warner Chilcott investors will get 0.16 share of new Actavis stock for each Warner Chilcott share they own. The deal was valued at about $8.5 billion including Dublin-based Warner Chilcott’s more-than $3 billion in net debt.