Drugmaker Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, Ill., has reached an agreement to buy Solvay Pharmaceuticals, a Brussels-based manufacturer of vaccines and treatments for Parkinson's, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases, for $6.6 billion, plus additional payments of up to $440 million by 2013, provided certain milestones are met.
The deal will significantly expand Abbott's presence in emerging global markets such as Eastern Europe and Asia, and expand its existing drug and research and development portfolios, according to a news release. The agreement includes worldwide rights to Solvay's fenofibrate cholesterol-drug franchise. Currently, Abbott holds the U.S. rights to that franchise and pays a royalty to Solvay.
The acquisition is expected to add $3 billion in annual global sales to Abbott's business and increase its annual research and development investment by $500 million. The deal, which is subject to customary review and closing conditions, is expected to close during the first quarter of 2010. Solvay's 2008 sales totaled $3.9 billion and the company employs 9,000 people.