Warner Chilcott (NASDAQ: WCRX), a North Ireland-based specialty drugmaker, today acquired Proctor & Gamble’s prescription drug business for $3.1 bn. The Wall Street Journal reports:
Six banks, led by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. and including Credit Suisse Group AG, Citigroup Inc., Barclays PLC and Morgan Stanley, were expected to put up as much as $4 billion in financing for the transaction. Roughly $3 billion will go toward the acquisition, with the remainder refinancing $1 billion in existing Warner Chilcott debt.
This would be the fourth-largest “leveraged loan” of 2009 in the U.S. and the largest globally for an acquisition, according to data provided by Dealogic. The last leveraged loan of this size for a deal in the U.S. was in April 2008, when Mars Inc. announced its planned purchase of Wrigley.
A leveraged loan is typically defined as a loan made to a borrower with a credit rating below investment-grade or that already carries a good amount of debt.
“The acquisition of the P&G pharmaceutical brands and employee talent is a transformational, strategic move for us,” said Roger Boissonneault, president and chief executive officer of Warner Chilcott, in a statement. “The acquisition transforms Warner Chilcott into a global pharmaceutical company, expands our presence in women’s health care, establishes us in the urology market in advance of the anticipated launch of our erectile dysfunction treatments, and adds gastroenterology therapies to our product portfolio.”