Henry Kravis is not bothered by opioids. His firm KKR & Co. is still interested in buying opioid maker Depomed, a publicly traded company next Wednesday, two sources told The Post.
A sale process is well under way, The Post has learned, even though opioids are a subject of national scorn as abuse of the painkillers has almost tripled in 15 years and the number of addicts rises. KKR would combine the company, which had a $1. 1 billion market cap at its Friday closing price of $18.
02 a share, with Arbor Pharmaceuticals, a company it already owns. A buyout of Depomed would be for $25 a share, valuing the company at more than $1. 5 billion, Mizuho Securities estimated in a November report.
Daichi Sankyo is also expected to bid along with a few others, according to sources. More than 28, 000 Americans die from opioids annually, according to RTI International. This year, rock legend Prince was one of those fatalities.
That has prompted Endo Pharmaceuticals to decide in recent weeks to stop promoting its opioid drug prescribed for back pain, Opana, and to no longer actively sell the drug. Unlike the case with Endo, Depomed’s primary business is opioids. A boost in Depomed’s opioid market share could offset risks that Washington will move to rein in opioid use, a source said.
Activist shareholder Starboard Value owns 10 percent of Depomed’s shares. In October, it won three board seats. Before that, KKR had approached Depomed multiple times about buying the company, sources said.