W.R. Grace said the U.S. attorney's office in Newark, N.J., will not prosecute National Medical Care, Grace's dialysis unit, over efforts to lift a ban on goods from an overseas factory.
In February, Grace said it received a "target letter" as part of an ongoing grand jury investigation into possible violations of criminal law within NMC. The probe related to NMC's efforts to persuade the Food and Drug Administration to lift a January 1991 import hold on its Dublin, Ireland, manufacturing facility. That hold, imposed because of quality-control concerns, was lifted in 1992.
According to the recent letter, which Grace said it received from the U.S. attorney's office last week, NMC will not be prosecuted in that matter. However, the unit remains the subject of a grand jury investigation into whether NMC sold defective products, the way it handled customer complaints, and product development.
In addition, Waltham, Mass.-based NMC is still the target of an HHS billing investigation.
Separately, Grace said Constantine Hampers, M.D., resigned June 14 from his posts of chairman, president and chief executive officer of NMC. Hampers, 63, also resigned as a director and executive vice president of Boca Raton, Fla.-based Grace.
Albert Costello, Grace chairman, president and CEO, said an executive committee will oversee NMC until its previously announced merger with
Fresenius, a German dialysis concern, will merge with NMC later this year. The union will form the world's largest dialysis company, with potential 1996 revenues of $3.5 billion.
Hampers will serve as an adviser to Fresenius CEO Gerd Krick, M.D., who also will be CEO of the new company, to be named Fresenius Medical Care.
"Dr. Hampers has been instrumental in the remarkable growth of NMC since he founded the company in 1968," Costello said in a statement. Hampers sold NMC to Grace in 1984 for $460 million. In May 1995, Grace rejected Hampers' proposal to buy NMC back for $3.5 billion.
Grace's shareholders will own 45% of the new company, while Fresenius and other shareholders will own the remaining 55%.
Hampers wasn't available for comment.