“Because our top priorities are maximizing the potential of our launch brands and key products in our portfolio, as well as delivering the late-stage pipeline, we have specifically ring-fenced the sales force and colleagues with key responsibilities for submission of certain late-stage R&D programs from Project Rejuvenate to minimize disruption of these critical growth-driving activities,” said Saunders.Leveraging the balance sheet: The Company also announced that it plans to issue $1 billion in new long-term debt through an offering of 8-year senior unsecured fixed rate notes. The net proceeds from the offering will be used to fund share repurchases, bolt-on acquisitions and general corporate purposes. Increasing cash returned to shareholders: Finally, the Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of up to $1 billion of common stock. The Company will be entering into a $400 million accelerated share repurchase program before the end of the calendar year. Following the accelerated share repurchase, the remaining $600 million available from the debt issuance will be prioritized toward accretive merger, acquisition and licensing opportunities. The Company has terminated the remaining repurchase authority under its prior share repurchase program. “Forest has a strong balance sheet with more than $3 billion in cash and investments. By adding some leverage to the balance sheet, we can take advantage of prevailing low interest rates, return capital to shareholders and increase our ability to execute accretive deals in the short term,” said Saunders. Conference call details: Forest executives will host a conference call with investors at 10:30 AM EST today to discuss the details of today’s strategic announcements. The conference call will be webcast live on the Company’s website at www.frx.com. Please log on to the website at least fifteen minutes prior to the conference call as it may be necessary to download software to access the call. A replay of the conference call will be available until January 2, 2014 and also by dialing (800) 839-2492 (US or Canada) or +1 (402) 220-7225 (international), Conference ID: FRX1202. About Forest Laboratories and Its Products Forest Laboratories (NYSE: FRX) is a leading, fully integrated, specialty pharmaceutical company largely focused on the United States market. The Company markets a portfolio of branded drug products and develops new medicines to treat patients suffering from diseases principally in five therapeutic areas: central nervous system, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, respiratory, and anti-infective. Our strategy of acquiring product rights for development and commercialization through licensing, collaborative partnerships and targeted mergers and acquisitions allows us to take advantage of attractive late-stage development and commercial opportunities, thereby managing the risks inherent in drug development. The Company is headquartered in New York, NY.
This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including the difficulty of predicting FDA approvals, the acceptance and demand for new pharmaceutical products, the impact of competitive products and pricing, the timely development and launch of new products, and the risk factors listed from time to time in Forest Laboratories’ Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and any subsequent SEC filings. Forest assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements contained in this release to reflect new information or future events or developments.This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy the notes, nor shall it constitute an offer, solicitation or sale in any jurisdiction in which, or to any person to whom, such offer, solicitation or sale is unlawful. Any offers of the notes will be made only by means of a private offering memorandum.