Abbot Buys Kos For $3.7 Billion

Adds cholesterol treatments to product line.

U.S. healthcare group Abbott Laboratories said Nov. 6 it was acquiring Kos Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $3.7 billion to add cholesterol treatments to its business. "Kos Pharmaceuticals is an excellent strategic fit for Abbott, both scientifically and commercially," Abbott chief executive Miles White said.

"This acquisition expands Abbott's presence in the lipid management market and will provide several on-market and late-stage pipeline products," he said.

Kos's two main drugs are Niaspan, a tablet that raises "good" levels of cholesterol, and another cholesterol treatment called Advicor. Such treatments are turning into blockbusters for drug companies as wealthier countries tackle rising levels of obesity.

Abbott is paying $78 per share for Kos, a hefty premium of 56% on the drugmaker's closing price on Nov. 3.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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