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Akorn expands reach with Advanced Vision Research buy.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Akorn Inc. is expected to make inroads in the nonprescription eye care market with its purchase of Advanced Vision Research (AVR) Inc., considered a premier over-the-counter ophthalmic company that develops and markets eye care products under the TheraTears and MacuTrition brand names.

In May Akorn, aniche generic pharmaceutical company, announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire AVR for $26 million in cash. TheraTears and MacuTrition are used for dry eyes, eyelid hygiene, contact lens comfort and eye nutrition. Last year AVR generated sales of $20 million, which consisted of domestic sales through major retail chains and sales in 20 countries across five continents.

Akorn also announced plans to launch a new consumer health division to enter the $1.2 billion O-T-C eye care market, pending the acquisition of AVR. The company plans to further expand by licensing new products and developing private label eye care products for major retailers. Akorn appointed Bruce Kutinsky as president of the newly formed consumer health unit.

Kutinsky joined Akorn as its senior vice president of corporate strategy in 2010. Before that he served as vice president of strategic solutions at Walgreen Co. Kutinsky previously held various senior management positions at Option Care Inc., which was acquired by Walgreens in 2007.

"AVR is a great strategic platform to expand Luto the O-T-C eye care market. We have had a relationship with AVR for several years as a primary contract manufacturer," commented Raj Rai, chief executive officer at Akorn. "With the acquisition we can add value in future growth as we have an existing sales infrastructure that markets products to ophthalmologists, optometrists and retailers nationwide, complementing AVR's sales initiatives."

The company expects the AVR acquisition to be neutral to its 2011 earnings per share after the impact of transaction-related expenses and the impact of purchase price allocation of one or two cents in earnings per share.

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Title Annotation:MERCHANDISING
Publication:Chain Drug Review
Date:Nov 7, 2011
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