Actavis Officially Changes Name to Allergan

Actavis Officially Changes Name to Allergan PLC
June 15, 2015
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff

DUBLIN – Actavis plc is no more – sort of. The manufacturer of generic pharmaceuticals is now officially known as Allergan PLC. The name change was announced in February following the acquisition of Allergan Inc. , which was completed in March.

The company retained the Actavis name for select geographic regions and products, including the United States and Canada. Generic drugs manufactured by the company will still be sold under the Actavis name to capitalize on brand recognition. The decision to keep the Actavis name in North America followed customer response, the company said.

“By adopting the Allergan name, we are ensuring that our corporate identity reflects the transformation of our company within the pharmaceutical industry and our position as a dynamic new breed of company – a leader in Growth Pharma,” Brent Saunders, chief executive officer of Allergan, said in a statement.

“Today, under one company name and identity, we set out on a new path forward, encouraging our employees across the globe to be bold in how we think and act, to engage and to move quickly to meet the needs of physicians, patients and customers.”

In November 2014 Actavis acquired Allergan for $66 billion in a combination of cash and stock. Under the terms, Actavis would pay a total of $219 a share with nearly 60 percent of the deal in cash and the rest in stock, Actavis said. Allergan had also been courted by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. in a deal that reportedly went as high as $60 billion.

When the acquisition was announced, Saunders said the deal would result in $1.8 billion in annual cost savings, improved marketing success by combining sales forces and expanded reach into key growth markets in Asia and Latin America. The combined companies created one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, with a range of eye, skin and stomach drugs.

The Allergan deal will strengthen the Actavis pipeline in ophthalmology, neurology, urology and dermatology/aesthetics, Saunders said during the investors call. Saunders said the company expects to spend about $1.7 billion on new research and development.

Allergan has a market cap of more than $117 billion, which is more than Bristol-Myers Squibb Company , Eli Lilly and Company and AbbVie , the Wall Street Journal reported this morning.

The name change was approved by shareholders earlier this month. The official name change, along with new stock symbol AGN, was marked by officials ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange Monday morning. Allergan Inc. was trading at $297.09 this morning on the stock exchange.

Allergan said it initiated a global rebranding campaign to guide the transition of its facilities across the world to reflect the new name. The company redesigned its corporate logo and launched a new website at

Allergan is the maker of Botox and other anti-wrinkle drugs, as well as its manufacturing of implants for breast augmentation. Sales of Botox were about $2 billion last year, one third of Allergan’s annual revenues and an increase of about 10 percent over sales in 2013.

Actavis reported strong sales growth in 2014 and announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of Namzaric, a fixed-dose combination (FDC) of memantine hydrochloride extended-release and donepezil hydrochloride for the treatment of moderate to severe dementia of the Alzheimer's.

Additionally Actavis reported a positive recommendation by an FDA advisory committee for the anti-infective AVYCAZ. Actavis also filed a new drug application for the antipsychotic Cariprazine.

In 2012 U.S.-based Watson Pharmaceuticals bought Actavis and took the name of the acquired company. The company moved operations to Ireland from Switzerland in 2013 to take advantage of better tax rates.

While Actavis, or Allergan PLC, is still digesting the growth of the company following the Allergan purchase, Saunders said may still look to snack on a few smaller possible acquisitions through the next year.

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