Aralez Pharma (ARLZ) to Acquire Toprol-XL U.S. Rights from AstraZeneca (AZN)

October 4, 2016 6:06 AM EDT
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Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ARLZ) announced it will acquire the U.S. rights to Toprol-XL (metoprolol succinate) and its Authorized Generic (AG) pursuant to an agreement entered into between AstraZeneca and Aralez Pharmaceuticals Trading DAC, a subsidiary of Aralez. Toprol-XL is a cardioselective beta-blocker indicated for the treatment of hypertension, alone or in combination with other antihypertensives; the long term treatment of angina pectoris and treatment of stable, symptomatic (NYHA class II or III) heart failure of specific origins. It was first approved in the U.S. in 1992. AstraZeneca recorded U.S. net revenues from Toprol-XL and its AG of $89 million and $53 million in 2015 and year-to-date June 2016, respectively. The transaction is expected to be immediately EBITDA accretive and to move profitability forward to 2017, in each case on an adjusted EBITDA basis. The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2016, subject to customary closing conditions.

The agreement includes an initial upfront payment of $175 million, which will be financed through a previously committed senior secured debt facility with Deerfield Management. At closing, Aralez will also borrow funds under this credit facility to replenish $25 million that was paid from cash on hand in connection with the recently announced ZONTIVITY® acquisition. In addition, Deerfield has agreed to provide Aralez access to up to an additional $250 million in capital to fund future mutually agreeable acquisitions. The transaction with AstraZeneca also includes mid-teen percentage royalties and up to $48 million of potential contingent milestone payments. In connection with the Asset Purchase Agreement, at closing the parties will enter into a Supply Agreement pursuant to which AstraZeneca will continue to manufacture and supply Toprol-XL and the AG to Aralez for at least ten years, a License Agreement with respect to certain trademarks and copyrights and a Transition Services Agreement. Under the terms of the Transition Services Agreement, AstraZeneca will continue to distribute the product on behalf of Aralez for up to nine months until the product is transferred to Aralez Pharmaceuticals Trading DAC.

"We are delighted to enter into an agreement with AstraZeneca for the U.S. rights to Toprol-XL and its AG, a beta blocker that further broadens our cardiovascular portfolio and, importantly, strengthens our financial profile by generating meaningful cash, which should accelerate our profitability to 2017 on an adjusted basis in addition to offsetting launch costs for YOSPRALA and ZONTIVITY," said Adrian Adams, Chief Executive Officer of Aralez. "This transaction further reflects our ability to deliver against the expectations that we set upon the formation of Aralez that included promoting FIBRICOR®, approval and commercialization of YOSPRALA, and seizing opportunities to expand through aggressive business development and licensing as evidenced by our recent acquisition of ZONTIVITY and now Toprol-XL."

Toprol-XL is an extended-release tablet that belongs to a family of high blood pressure medications known as beta-blockers. Extended-release tablets need to be taken only once a day. After swallowing Toprol-XL, the coating of the tablet dissolves, releasing a multitude of controlled release pellets filled with metoprolol succinate. Each pellet acts as a separate drug delivery unit and is designed to deliver metoprolol continuously over the dosage interval of 24 hours.

Greenhill & Co. served as Financing Advisor and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP served as Legal Advisor in connection with the transaction.

Conference Call and Webcast

Aralez will host a conference call today at 8:30 a.m. ET, to discuss details of the transaction. The webcast can be accessed live and will be available for replay at

Conference Call Details

Date: Tuesday, October 4, 2016Time: 8:30 a.m. ETDial-in (U.S.): 877-407-8037 Dial-in (International): 201-689-8037

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