Akorn acquires AVR in $26 million deal

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Akorn, a niche generic pharmaceutical company, earlier this week entered into an agreement to acquire Advanced Vision Research, an over-the-counter ophthalmic company that promotes eye care products under the TheraTears and MacuTrition brands.

“AVR is a great strategic platform to expand into the OTC eye care market,” stated Akorn CEO Raj Rai. “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.”

In 2010, 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 OTC 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 tapped Bruce Kutinsky to lead its newly formed consumer health division as president. Prior to joining Akorn in 2010, Kutinsky served as VP strategic solutions at Walgreens. Kutinsky also has held various senior management positions at Option Care, which was acquired by Walgreens in 2007. Kutinsky started his career as a retail pharmacist and has a doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Michigan.

The deal was valued at $26 million in cash, Akorn reported.