Alpharma, Ascent announce alliance

April 1, 1999

Pharmaceutical Representative

Alpharma Inc. and Ascent Pediatrics are the latest pharmaceutical companies to throw their hats into the mergers and acquisitions ring.

Alpharma Inc. and Ascent Pediatrics are the latest pharmaceutical companies to throw their hats into the mergers and acquisitions ring.

In February, the companies announced that Alpharma USPD, Alpharma's subsidiary, will provide Ascent with as much as $40 million in financing through a convertible sustained note due in 2005. In return, Alpharma will have the option in 2002 to acquire all of Ascent's outstanding shares for the higher of $140 million or a price equal to 12.2 times Ascent's 2001 pre-tax operating income.

If Alpharma does not exercise its option, Ascent will be required to repay the financing debt.

"We are very pleased to announce this strategic alliance with Ascent Pediatrics. It represents a key step in executing our strategy of complementing USPD's specialty generic pharmaceuticals with higher margin-branded products," said Tom Anderson, president of Alpharma USPD.

Alpharma, based in Fort Lee, NJ, and Oslo, Norway, is the U.S. market leader in liquid and topical generic pharmaceuticals. It markets more than 170 products in prescription and over-the-counter categories, making it the parent of the broadest portfolio of manufactured products in its industry.

The pairing of the Norwegian giant and the little U.S. company specializing in pediatric medicines promises growth for Ascent.

"We are very excited about the prospects of this strategic alliance with Alpharma," said Emmett Clemente, M.D., founder and chairman of Ascent. "We expect the resources made available by Alpharma will allow Ascent to pursue opportunities for growth in an effort to offer additional improved pediatric products in the future."

Founded in 1997 for the exclusive purpose of manufacturing and marketing products for the pediatric population, Ascent has approximately $5 million in annual revenues and employs a small but mighty sales force of 87.

The company currently markets FeverAll® Acetaminophen Suppositories and Pediamist® Nasal Mist. In the second half of this year, Ascent hopes to add two new products to its product line: Primsol® solution, an antibiotic for acute otitis media, and Orapred® a reportedly better tasting formulation of liquid prednisolone sodium phosphate for asthma. Both products are awaiting FDA approval. PR