Apotex Pharmaceutical Holdings Inc., the largest Canadian-owned drug manufacturer, has agreed to be acquired by U.S. private-equity firm SK Capital Partners.
Founded in 1974, Apotex makes more than 300 generic-drug products and employs nearly 8,000 people worldwide, including in Canada, the United States, Mexico and India. The company says its worldwide sales are more than $1-billion a year.
The company is owned by the family of late founder Barry Sherman. Mr. Sherman and his wife Honey were found dead in their Toronto home in 2017, an apparent homicide that has remained unsolved despite high public interest and, at one point, a $10-million reward from the family.
At the time of his death, Forbes estimated Mr. Sherman’s fortune at $3.2-billion and said he was the 12th richest person in Canada.
The family weighed a possible sale in recent years before the deal with SK Capital was announced Wednesday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. It is also subject to customary regulatory conditions.
Jeff Watson, president and chief executive officer of Apotex, said in a statement that the company looked forward to working with SK Capital because of its expertise and resources.
Aaron Davenport, managing director of SK Capital, described Apotex as an entrepreneurial company with a diversified portfolio of products and a pipeline of new launches.
“We feel incredibly privileged to have the opportunity to support Apotex with our deep experience in the pharmaceutical sector as it continues to research, develop and produce safe and affordable medicines for patients in Canada, the United States and around the world,” he said in a statement.
SK Capital says it has US$6.6-billion of assets under management. Its portfolio focuses on a variety of specialty chemical, materials and pharmaceutical companies. Its head office is in New York.
Apotex was fined last year by the U.S. Department of Justice for allegedly working to fix the price of generic drugs with two competitors. Apotex, Taro Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and Sandoz Inc. were fined a combined US$447-million. The three companies signed settlement agreements that required monitoring and price transparency with authorities for five years.