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Company news

April 28, 2014

When John Lechleiter was named CEO of Eli Lilly and Co. in late 2007, the Indianapolis-based drugmaker derived just 5 percent of its annual revenue from its Elanco Animal Health subsidiary. But next year, after Lilly completes its $5.4 billion acquisition of Novartis Animal Health, Elanco will contribute 17 percent of revenue—or one out of every six dollars flowing into Lilly’s coffers. It’s been a swift transformation for Greenfield-based Elanco. In the mid-2000s, Lilly employees often tried to avoid or leave posts at Elanco because its future was in doubt. “Five years ago, people said, ‘Don’t go to Elanco because they’re going to get sold,’” Elanco President Jeff Simmons said in a 2010 interview. But the 2007 decision by Lechleiter and the Lilly board to invest in Elanco turned things around. Elanco now employs 3,500 worldwide, up from 2,500 a few years ago. Elanco’s revenue has shot up from $996 million in 2007 to $2.2 billion last year—growth of 120 percent, which is three times faster than the rest of the animal health industry. Of that growth, 60 percent has come organically, as Elanco aggressively pushed its products into foreign markets to complement its strong presence in the United States. The other 40 percent has come via acquisitions. The Novartis deal, expected to close in early 2015, will be Elanco’s eighth purchase in as many years.

Two Warsaw-based orthopedic implant companies agreed to merge last week in a $13.4 billion deal. Zimmer Holdings Inc. will acquire Biomet Inc., whose private equity owners had planned to stage a public stock offering this year. Biomet posted $3.1 billion in revenue in 2013, up from $2.8 billion in 2012, according to IBJ research. It employs 9,000 people worldwide. Zimmer reported $4.6 billion in revenue in 2013. It has about 9,500 employees. “This will give Zimmer some leverage when they go to hospitals, and help them compete,” said Jason McGorman, an analyst at Bloomberg Industries in Princeton, N.J., according to a report by Bloomberg News. Also, “they get a little more in terms of products in other areas, like sports medicine, extremities and trauma, where Zimmer has less exposure.” Zimmer will pay $10.4 billion in cash and issue shares of its common stock valued at $3 billion to Biomet Inc.'s equity holders.

Eli Lilly and Co.’s drug ramucirumab won approval from U.S. regulators to be sold under the brand name Cyramza as a treatment for gastric cancer. According to Bloomberg News, analysts expect the drug could bring in annual sales of more than $1 billion. Lilly is trying to launch new cancer and diabetes drugs to offset the loss of revenue from the anti-depressant Cymbalta, which saw its U.S. patent expire in December. Lilly obtained the drug Cyramza in its acquisition of ImClone Systems Inc. in 2008. Lilly is also studying the drug in lung, liver and colorectal cancers.

Dow AgroSciences LLC reported record sales of $2.1 billion in the first quarter, an increase of 1 percent over last year's first period, the Indianapolis-based company reported April 23. The subsidiary of Midland, Mich.-based Dow Chemical Co. also reported record earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, of $529 million, up 9 percent from a year ago. Dow Agro said higher sales and lower expenses boosted profit. Sales of crop-protection products grew 4 percent overall in the quarter, mainly due to gains in foreign markets. Sales of new crop-protection products rose 28 percent. Sales of seeds and seed traits fell 7 percent in the quarter, partly due to the late planting season in the United States.

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