Akorn wins U.S. approval to buy VersaPharm

WASHINGTON Mon Aug 4, 2014 5:17pm EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Pharmaceutical company Akorn Inc (AKRX.O) has won U.S. antitrust approval to buy specialty prescription drug company VersaPharm Inc on condition it sell its rights to a generic tuberculosis drug, the Federal Trade Commission said on Monday.

Illinois-based Akorn said in May that it planned to buy VersaPharm Inc for $440 million, citing the privately held company's work in developing and marketing drugs to treat hemophilia and tuberculosis, among other conditions.

To win antitrust approval, the companies agreed to divest Akorn's right to make a generic version of the tuberculosis drug rifampin. VersaPharm is one of three companies that make the drug, the FTC said.

Watson Laboratories, a subsidiary of Actavis plc (ACT.N), has agreed to buy Akorn's rights to rifampin, the FTC said.

Akorn closed at $34.33 per share, up about 1 percent, in U.S. trading.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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