Company news

February 6, 2012

Eli Lilly and Co. will freeze base pay for most of its 38,000 workers this year, as the October 2011 patent expiration on its former best-seller Zyprexa has hammered finances. Lilly already eliminated 5,500 jobs in preparation for the generic competition to Zyprexa, an antipsychotic pill. But the pay freeze is the company’s next move to try to weather the storm caused by a string of patent expirations on five of its best-selling drugs, including the looming loss of its new best-seller, the antidepressant Cymbalta, at the end of 2013. The pay freeze also applies to top executives, Lilly disclosed in its preliminary proxy statement, filed Feb. 3. Overall compensation for Lilly’s top five executives fell slightly in 2011, the company disclosed. CEO John Lechleiter earned a salary of $1.5 million, unchanged from 2010, and total compensation of $16.4 million, down slightly from the previous year. Lechleiter has resisted buying another large company to mask Lilly’s looming sales loss, instead betting on the company’s research team to deliver new blockbusters. Also, Lilly has made several smaller acquisitions, and is currently rumored to be vying with five other rivals to acquire the Turkish drugmaker Mustafa Nevzat Ilac Sanayii.

Indianapolis-based Home Health Depot Inc. has acquired a majority stake in Iowa-based Advanced Rehab Technologies LLC, a provider of rehabilitation equipment. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The three owners of the company will continue to manage it under Home Health Depot’s oversight. Advanced Rehab was founded 10 years ago. Home Health Depot had 2010 revenue of $13.8 million, according to IBJ research, ranking it the fifth-fastest-growing private company in the Indianapolis area. Home Health Depot also ranked last year as No. 736 on Inc. magazine’s list of the nation’s fastest growing companies.

Warsaw-based Symmetry Medical Inc.’s former CEO will return $450,000 in pay and stock proceeds to resolve U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission claims that he profited from accounting fraud by a United Kingdom unit, according to Bloomberg News. Brian S. Moore received the compensation based on financial results that were inflated by a scheme in which employees inflated financial results in 2005 and 2006 at Symmetry’s Thornton Precision Components Ltd. subsidiary, the SEC said in a complaint filed Jan. 30 in federal court in South Bend. The agency also settled claims against Symmetry Chief Financial Officer Fred L. Hite, who will pay $210,000. “It is important to emphasize that the SEC did not accuse Mr. Moore of any wrongdoing,” Russell G. Ryan, an attorney for Moore at King & Spaulding LLP, said in an e-mail statement. “He is glad to have put the matter behind him.”

Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences LLC reported record fourth quarter and annual revenue on strong sales of new products and above-average growing seasons. Fourth-quarter revenue grew 5 percent, to more than $1.3 billion, compared with the same period in 2010. For the entire year, sales increased to $5.7 billion. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were $145 million in the quarter ended Dec. 31, a fourth-quarter record and double the $72 million reported for the 2010 period. The company, a unit of Midland, Mich.-based Dow Chemical Co., reported sales and volume gains in all geographic areas, led by Latin America.