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Avanir to be Acquired for $3.5B

Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc. has agreed to be acquired by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. for $3.5 billion.

Shares of the Aliso Viejo-based biopharmaceutical company jumped 12.8% Tuesday morning to a market capitalization of $2.9 billion.

Avanir, headed by Chief Executive Keith Katkin, said it’s expected to continue its current structure and become an independent subsidiary within Otsuka’s operations.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical in San Francisco is part of Tokyo-based Otsuka Holdings Co. The parent company, which operates various units such as Otsuka Medical Devices and Otsuka Chemical, had about $12 billion in revenue and $1.3 billion in earnings for its fiscal year ended March 31.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical focuses on drugs to treat schizophrenia and depression.

Avanir specializes in central nervous system diseases and had about $75.4 million in revenue and a loss of $75.5 million for the year through September.

The transaction, which was approved by the boards of both companies, is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.

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