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Actavis plc
Traded as NYSEACT
S&P 500 Component
Industry Brand and generic pharmaceuticals, and pharmaceutical research and development.
Founded Libertyville, Illinois, United States (Spring 1984)
Founder Allen Chao, Ph.D. and David Hsia, Ph.D.
Headquarters Dublin, Ireland and Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey, United States.
Number of locations
36 manufacturing facilities, 17 global R&D centers, distribution centers and marketing/sales facilities worldwide.
Area served
Key people
Paul Bisaro, Executive Chairman, Brent Saunders CEO & President
Products Brand and generic pharmaceuticals
Revenue US$ 8.7 billion(2013)
Number of employees
25,000 employees worldwide (2014)
Actavis facility in Iceland

Actavis plc NYSEACT New York Stock Exchange is a global, integrated specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing, manufacturing, and commercializing generic, branded pharmaceutical and biosimilar products. The company has global headquarters in Dublin, Ireland and administrative headquarters in Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey, United States.

Actavis is the world's third-largest generics prescription drug manufacturer. The company develops, manufactures and markets generic, branded generic, and Over-the-Counter (OTC) products in more than 60 countries. The company is ranked in the top 3 in 12 global markets, the top 5 in 16 global markets, and in the top 10 in 33 global markets. Actavis also develops and out-licenses generic pharmaceutical products outside the U.S. through its Medis third-party business, the world’s largest generic pharmaceutical out-licensing business. Medis has more than 300 customers globally, and offers a broad portfolio of more than 200 products.

Actavis markets a broad portfolio of branded pharmaceuticals and is developing new medicines for patients suffering from diseases principally in the central nervous system, gastroenterology, women’s health, urology, cardiovascular, respiratory and anti-infective therapeutic categories.

Actavis is also developing and marketing biosimilars products in women’s health, oncology and other therapeutic categories, and currently has a portfolio of five biosimilar products in development.

Actavis has more than 35 manufacturing and distribution facilities around the world, with a capacity of approximately 40 billion units annually. Actavis Global Operations also includes Anda, Inc., the fourth-largest U.S. generic pharmaceutical product distributor in the United States.


The company was founded in the spring of 1983,[1] when, with funding from friends and family, colleagues Allen Chao, Ph.D. and David Hsia, Ph.D., began a small drug development enterprise. Just two months later, the founders established an initial product development and analytical laboratory with six employees (including both founders) in a leased space in Libertyville, Illinois.

By late fall of the same year, the company moved to Southern California into an initial 2,000-square-foot (190 m2) leased facility in Corona, and the development and manufacturing of generic pharmaceuticals began. The Corona site became the corporate headquarters for the rapidly expanding U.S. company.

In 2011, the company moved its corporate headquarters from Corona, California to Parsippany, New Jersey. The new LEED-certified corporate headquarters at the Morris Corporate Center in Parsippany was formally dedicated on June 9, 2011.

Tax avoidance[edit]

Actavis's acquisition of Irish company Warner Chilcott in 2013, which led to a relocation of its corporate headquarters to Ireland while maintaining its operational headquarters in Parsippany, in a corporate inversion move, was controversial, and reduced its tax rate from 37 percent to 17 percent while allowing it to continue to operate out of the United States. This deal inspired a series of similar moves by other drug companies and led to new Treasury Department regulations limiting the ability of companies to perform such inversions, although Actavis was exempt from these regulations as its move abroad had already been completed.[2] CEO Paul Bisaro stated that in making the inversion, they were trying to "level the playing field" given the high corporate tax rate in the United States. He also stated that company officials would remain: "Everybody loves New Jersey too much, so nobody is willing to go" and that the company didn't "think anyone will be moving".[3]

In 2014 Actavis moved to acquire Allergan, the manufacturer of Botox, using its new status as a foreign company to pay fewer taxes on the sale.[4]

Company evolution[edit]

The '90s[edit]

Throughout its history, Actavis has expanded both organically and as the result of strategic acquisitions that brought broader product lines, enhanced drug delivery technologies, and ultimately branded pharmaceutical products to the company. In 1993, Actavis, then Watson, announced its initial public offering (IPO) of shares of common stock. The company was initially listed on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol WATS. The company moved to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 1997, and began trading under the symbol WPI.

2000 to 2009[edit]

In 2000, the company acquired Schein Pharmaceutical, Inc., an acquisition that more than doubled the company’s size. In that same year, the group reported revenues in excess of $1 billion. In the fall of 2006, it acquired Andrx Corporation, a Fort Lauderdale, FL–based pharmaceutical company, making it the third largest specialty pharmaceutical company based on total prescriptions dispensed. In 2007, Dr. Allen Chao retired as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and was succeeded by Paul M. Bisaro. The company’s international presence began with the acquisition of the Arrow Group in 2009, providing the company with commercial presence in more than 20 international markets. As a result of the Arrow acquisition, the company also acquired the biopharmaceutical development organization Eden Biodesign in Liverpool, UK.

2011 to the present day[edit]

The company further strengthened its presence in Europe with the acquisition of Specifar Pharmaceuticals S.A. in May 2011. Based in Athens, Greece, Specifar is a generic pharmaceutical developer, manufacturer and marketer of products sold under its own and customer labels. In December 2011, a collaboration agreement with Amgen was announced—to develop and commercialize oncology biosimilars.

In January 2012, the company acquired Ascent Pharmahealth Ltd, the Australia and Southeast Asia generic pharmaceutical business of Strides Acrolab Ltd. As a result of the acquisition Watson became the fifth largest generic pharmaceutical company in Australia based on revenue, and the largest generics company in Singapore, with an established commercial base in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Thailand. In November 2012, Watson acquired the Switzerland based, global generics company Actavis Group for EUR4.25 billion, creating the world’s third largest generics company, with a leading position in key established commercial markets including the U.S., UK, Nordics, Canada, Australia, and emerging markets in Central and Eastern Europe, and Russia. Following the acquisition, Watson adopted Actavis' name for its global operations.

Actavis’ Specialty Brands division was strengthened in January 2013 with the acquisition of Belgian based Uteron Pharma SA, which specializes in Women’s health products. On October 1, 2013 Actavis acquired Warner Chilcott plc in a stock-for-stock transaction valued at approximately $8.5 billion.[5] The combination created a leading global specialty pharmaceutical company with approximately $10 billion in anticipated combined annual 2013 revenue, and the third-largest U.S. specialty pharmaceutical company with approximately $3 billion in annual revenue focused on the core therapeutic categories of women’s health, urology, gastroenterology and dermatology. As a result of the acquisition, Actavis relocated its global headquarters to Dublin, Ireland.

On March 3, 2014. Actavis launched a pharmaceutical campaign based on diversion of a specific drug that is a controlled substance they were well known for manufacturing. Promethazine With Codeine Syrup is a very well known and abused drug and until March 2014 Actavis was a manufacture people requested for the taste of their cough syrup over others. Actavis stopped all production and sales of their Promethazine with Codeine syrup because of the abuse and stigma " Main Stream Rappers" created around the drug in their songs. Actavis announced that " It Starts with Me" campaign also to raise awareness of prescription drug abuse and Actavis's diversion prevention practices. Currently as of December 2, 2014 it is currently still off the market and not back on shelves or for sale by the company.[6]

On July 1, 2014. Actavis announced that it had completed its acquisition of Forest Laboratories in a cash and equity transaction valued at approximately $25 billion. The combination created one of the world’s fastest-growing specialty pharmaceutical companies, with annual revenues of more than $15 billion anticipated for 2015. Following the acquisition, the company restructured its executive leadership, with Paul Bisaro being named Executive Chairman, and Brent Saunders being appointed CEO and President of the combined organization.[7] On October 6, 2014 Actavis announced its intention to acquire Durata Therapeutics for more than $675 million, the deal will give the company access to the already-marketed infectious disease drug, dalbavancin.[8] On October 22, 2014 the company announced it had signed a $40+ million option to acquire Rhythm Health including its Phase IIb-ready drug candidate relamorelin (RM-131), a peptide ghrelin agonist, designed to treat diabetic gastroparesis.[9] On November 17, 2014 Actavis announced its intention to acquire Allergan for $219 per share, a valuation of about $66 billion. Allergan is best known for Botox, but it has a long history of developing pharmaceuticals.[10] Completion of the deal would mean that Actavis has increased its market capitalization from less than $5 billion to $100 billion in 5 years.[11] In December 2014 the company (along with Adamas Pharmaceuticals) announced that they had received FDA approval for Namzaric (MDX-8704) for the treatment of Alzheimers.[12]

Locations and facilities[edit]

Global headquarters[edit]

The company's global headquarters are located in Dublin, Ireland and administrative headquarters are located in Parsippany, New Jersey, USA.

Sales and marketing offices[edit]

Actavis holds a leading position in key established commercial markets including the United States, the United Kingdom, the Nordic countries, Canada, Australia and the Pacific Rim, and emerging markets in Central and Eastern Europe and Russia.

Sales and marketing offices are located in five continents:

  • Americas
    • USA, Canada and Brazil.
  • Europe
    • Austria, the Balkans, the Baltics, Bulgaria, CIS, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Nordic region, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and UK.
  • Middle East and Africa
    • United Arab Emirates and South-Africa.
  • Australasia
    • Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • Third-party sales
    • Germany, Greece, Iceland and the United Kingdom.

Manufacturing facilities[edit]

The company has 36 manufacturing facilities in five continents providing the company with a core leadership position in modified release products, solid oral dosages, transdermals, semi-solids, liquids and injectables.

The company’s manufacturing facilities are located in Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Germany, Greece, France, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Serbia, Thailand, UK and USA.

Research and development facilities[edit]

Actavis has 17 global R&D facilities focusing on the development of modified release products, solid oral dosages, transdermals, semi-solids, liquids and injectables around the world.

The company’s R&D facilities are located in Belgium, Bulgaria, Iceland, Italy, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Romania, UK and USA.

Specialty pharmaceuticals: India, Romania, UK, and USA. Branded pharmaceuticals: Salt Lake City, New Jersey, USA, Liege, Belgium and Liverpool, UK (biologics).


External links[edit]