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Sold to Teva Pharmaceuticals (July 2015)
Industry Branded 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
40 manufacturing facilities, 27 global R&D centers and marketing/sales facilities worldwide.
Area served
~100 Countries
Key people
Paul Bisaro, Executive Chairman, Brenton L. Saunders President and CEO
Products Branded and generic pharmaceuticals
Revenue US$ 13.062 billion(2014)
Increase US$ 1.090 billion (2014)
Decrease -US$ 1.630 billion (2014)
Total assets Increase US$ 6.881 billion (2014)
Total equity Increase US$ 28.335 billion (2014)
Number of employees
21,600 (Feb. 2015)

Actavis (formerly known as Actavis, plc, prior to the acquisition of Allergan, inc) is a global pharmaceutical company focused on developing, manufacturing and commercializing branded pharmaceuticals, generic and over-the-counter medicines, and biologic products. Actavis has a commercial presence across approximately 100 countries. The company has global headquarters in Dublin, Ireland and administrative headquarters in Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey, United States.[1]

Actavis, plc markets a portfolio of brand products through six franchises in key therapeutic categories including: Aesthetics/Dermatology/Plastic Surgery; Neurosciences/CNS; Eye Care; Women’s Health and Urology; GI and Cystic Fibrosis; and Cardiovascular Disease and Infectious Disease.[2] The company's product portfolio includes Botox,[3] Namenda, Restasis,[4] Linzess, Bystolic,[5] Juvederm,[6] Latisse,[7] Lo Loestrin Fe, Estrace, Teflaro, Dalvance, Ozurdex,[8] Optive,[9] Natrelle,[10] Viibryd, Liletta, Saphris,[11] Enablex, Actonel, Androderm, Gelnique and others.

Actavis, plc also operates the world's third-largest generics business. 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.[12] Actavis, plc is also developing biosimilars products in oncology and other therapeutic categories, and currently has a portfolio of five biosimilar products in development.[13] Actavis, plc has more than 40 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.[14]

On June 15, 2015, Actavis, plc changed its name to Allergan, plc, but the company's U.S. and Canadian generics business will continue to operate under the Actavis name.[15]

In July 2015, Allergan, Plc announced it would sell its Generics division of the company to Teva Pharmaceuticals for $40.5 billion.[16]


The company was founded in the spring of 1983,[17] 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.[18] The Corona site became the corporate headquarters for the rapidly expanding U.S. company.

Company evolution[edit]

The 1990s[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.

Actavis facility in Iceland

2000 to 2009[edit]

In 2000, the company acquired Schein Pharmaceutical, Inc., an acquisition that more than doubled the company’s size.[19] 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.[20] In 2007, Dr. Allen Chao retired as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and was succeeded by Paul M. Bisaro.[21] 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.[22] As a result of the Arrow acquisition, the company also acquired the biopharmaceutical development organization Eden Biodesign in Liverpool, UK.[23]

2011 to 2014[edit]

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.[24]

Actavis Acquisition and Watson Name Change[edit]

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.[25] Following the acquisition, Watson adopted Actavis' name for its global operations.

Warner Chilcott plc Acquisition[edit]

On October 1, 2013 Actavis acquired Irish pharmaceutical company Warner Chilcott plc (previously known as Galen) in a stock-for-stock transaction valued at approximately $8.5 billion.[26] The combination created a 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. In association with the merger the company relocated its corporate headquarters to Ireland while maintaining its operational headquarters in Parsippany, taking advantage of the lower (17% vs. 35% in the United States) Irish corporate tax rate.[27] 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.[28] 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.[29]

Forest Laboratories Acquisition[edit]

On July 1, 2014 Actavis announced that it had completed its acquisition of Forest Laboratories (who previously acquired, Furiex Pharmaceuticals Inc and Aptalis Pharma) in a cash and equity transaction valued at approximately $25 billion.[30] 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.[31]

Allergan, inc Acquisition and Actavis, plc Name Change[edit]

In November 2014 Actavis, plc announced its intention to acquire Allergan, inc, the manufacturer of Botox[32] Completion of the deal would increase its market capitalization to $147 billion.[33][34] On March 17, 2015, Actavis, plc completed the acquisition of Allergan, inc in a cash and equity transaction valued at approximately $70.5 billion. The combination created a $23 billion diversified global pharmaceutical company with commercial reach across 100 countries. In June 2015, Actavis, plc officially changed its name to Allergan, plc.[35]

Allergan, plc
(formerly known as Actavis until June 2015
when it adopted Allergans name
Actavis, plc

Auden Mckenzie Holdings Limited
(Acq 2015 by Actavis)


Durata Therapeutics
(Acq 2014 by Actavis)


Forest Laboratories
(Acq 2014 by Actavis)

Furiex Pharmaceuticals Inc
(Acq 2014 by Forest)

Aptalis Pharma
(Eurand Pharmaceuticals & Axcan Pharma merged 2011,
Acq 2014 by Forest)


(Acq 2013 by Actavis)

Warner Chilcott Plc
(Acq 2000 by Galen, adopted Warners name)

Procter & Gamble's prescription drug unit
(Acq 2009 by Warner)


Watson Pharmaceuticals

Andrx Corporation
(Acq 2006 by Watson)


Arrow Group
(Acq 2009 by Watson)


Eden Biodesign
(Acq by Watson)


Specifar Pharmaceuticals S.A.
(Acq 2011 by Watson)


Ascent Pharmahealth Ltd
(Acq 2012 by Watson)


Actavis Group
(Acq 2012 by Watson, adopted Actavis' name)

Allergan, inc

Kythera Biopharmaceuticals
(Acq 2015)

MAP Pharmaceuticals Inc
(Acq 2013)

Inamed Corporation
(Acq 2006)

(Advanced Medical Optics spun off in 2006)

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.[36]

Manufacturing facilities[edit]

The company has 40 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 Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Northern-Ireland, Italy, Malta, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, Serbia, Thailand, UK and USA.

Research and development facilities[edit]

Actavis, plc has 27 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, China, France, Iceland, Italy, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Northern Ireland, Romania, UK and USA.


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  3. ^ "Botox cosmetics". Allergan. 
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  5. ^ "Bystolic". Actavis. 
  6. ^ "Juvederm". Allergan. 
  7. ^ "Latisse" (PDF). Allergan. 
  8. ^ "Ozurdex". Allergan. 
  9. ^ "Optive". Allergan. 
  10. ^ "Natrelle". Allergan. 
  11. ^ "Form 10K". Actavis plc. 
  12. ^ "Actavis Confirms Favorable Ruling In Generic Pulmicort RESPULES Patent Suit". First Word Pharma. 
  13. ^ John Carroll. "Can Actavis deliver a promised $6B boost from this pipeline". Fierce Biotech. 
  14. ^ "Actavis Confirms Favorable Ruling In Generic Pulmicort Respules Patent Suit". First Word Pharma. 
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  17. ^ "ACT Profile - Actavis plc Ordinary Shares Stock - Yahoo! Finance". 
  18. ^ "Watson Pharmaceuticals acquired Arrow Group for 1.75B". TBI. 
  19. ^ "Watson Pharmaceuticals agrees to buy a rival". NY Times. 2000-05-26. 
  21. ^ "Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Says CEO to Retire, Names Replacement". Fierce Biotech. 
  22. ^ Shannon Pettypiece (2009-06-17). "Watson Agrees to Buy Arrow Group for $1.75 Billion". Bloomberg. [dead link]
  23. ^ Gareth Macdonald. "Watson buys Eden Biodesign". 
  24. ^ "Generic drug maker Watson opening research operations in North Brunswick". 
  25. ^ Eyk Henning (2012-04-25). "Watson, Actavis to Merge in €4.5 Billion Deal". Wall Street Journal. 
  26. ^ "News - Actavis". Actavis. 
  27. ^ Loftus, Peter (2013-05-20). "Actavis to Buy Warner Chilcott in $5 Billion Deal". The Wall Street Journal. 
  28. ^ Gelles, David (2014-11-17). "Allergan Escapes Valeant’s Pursuit, Agreeing to Be Bought by Actavis". The New York Times. 
  29. ^ Drew Armstrong (2013-05-21). "Actavis Lowers Tax Rate to 17% After Warner Chilcott Deal". 
  30. ^ Wainer, David (2014-02-18). "Actavis to buy Forest Laboratories for 25 billion". Bloomberg. 
  31. ^ "GEN - News Highlights:Actavis Deal's a Dandy for Activist Icahn". GEN. 
  32. ^ "BBC News - Actavis to buy Botox-maker Allergan $66bn". BBC News. 
  33. ^ Caroline Chen (2014-11-17). "Actavis Surges to Top Drugmaker Ranks With Acquisitions". 
  34. ^ Willhite, James (2014-11-17). "The Morning Ledger: Actavis Could Again Evade Treasury’s Grasp for Post-Inversion Tax Break". WSJ. 
  35. ^ "Actavis plc is now Allergan plc". Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  36. ^ "Actavis plc". MarketWatch. 

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