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Forest Laboratories acquires Bridgewater pharma company Aptalis for $2.9B

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Aptalis, a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company based in Bridgewater, said Wednesday it has agreed to be acquired by Forest Laboratories for $2.9 billion in cash.

Forest Laboratories will acquire Aptalis from its private equity owner, TPG, pending required reviews by antitrust authorities. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2014.

Aptalis CEO Frank Verweil said in a statement that the company has grown under TPG's ownership though internal product development and acquisitions, “and now our new, larger, multinational owner will provide increased opportunities.”

“Forest's acquisition of our company is a testament to the strength of the business we have built,” Verweil said.

Aptalis' therapies focus on cystic fibrosis, gastrointestinal disorders and other unmet needs. The company reported $688 million in revenue in fiscal 2013. It employs about 1,000 worldwide, with headquarters on Somerset Corporate Boulevard.

“The company has grown throughout our ownership period, and we are enthusiastic to see a dynamic specialty pharmaceutical company like Forest partner with Aptalis on the next leg of the company's growth,” said TPB Capital partner Todd Sisitsky.

TPG bought Aptalis for $1.3 billion on November 2007.

New York-based Forest Laboratories makes drugs for Alzheimer's disease and irritable bowel syndrome, among other ailments. Its shares soared on news it is acquiring Aptalis, rising 17 percent, or $10.01, to $68.77 in Wednesday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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