Perrigo makes its name by making sure you never see it. One of the world's largest manufacturers of generic and private-label OTC (over-the-counter) pharmaceuticals and supplements, the company makes products that use similar packaging and discount pricing to compete with leading national brands. It makes more than 2,700 consumer products, including pain relievers, cough and cold remedies, digestive aids, and smoking cessation products -- some of which are sold under its own Good Sense brand. It also makes about 700 generic prescription products, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs, or raw drug ingredients), and nutritional (dietary supplement, infant feeding) products.
Change in Company Type
In 2013 Perrigo completed a large acquisition that the company expects to further its international expansion efforts: Perrigo purchased Ireland-based drugmaker Elan for some $8.6 billion. The purchase added a number of development-stage drugs for neurological conditions including Alzheimer's and bipolar disorder, as well as royalty rights on multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri (marketed by Biogen Idec).
To complete the deal, Perrigo formed a new holding company in Ireland; following the merger, the combined company is based in Ireland (a bonus for Perrigo, as the country has a lower corporate tax rate). The firm's name changed from Perrigo Company to Perrigo Company plc and the corporate headquarters moved to Dublin. The company's location in Allegan, Michigan, became the North American operating base.
About a fifth of Perrigo's sales originate overseas. Primary non-US markets include Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Israel, and Mexico. The company has distribution and manufacturing facilities in Australia, India, Israel, Mexico, the UK, and the US.
Consumer health care products sold in the US and internationally account for about 60% of Perrigo's annual revenue. Top product categories include analgesics, cold and allergy medicines, and gastrointestinal aids; the division also makes smoking cessation, feminine hygiene, dermatology, diabetes, and animal health products. Generic prescription drugs and APIs account for about a quarter of the company's sales, while nutritionals (including vitamins and infant formula) bring in about 15%. A small portion of sales come from diagnostic products.
The company's manufacturing operations are conducted through subsidiaries Quimica y Farmacia (Mexico) and Wrafton (UK), including the production of OTC and store-brand pharmaceutical and nutritional products. Perrigo manufactures generic prescription drugs at facilities in the US and Israel through its Perrigo Rx division, and subsidiary Chemagis makes APIs in Israel and India.
Sales and Marketing
Perrigo's US-based customers include such megaretailers as Wal-Mart, CVS, Costco, and Walgreen and wholesalers such as McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen. Wal-Mart is its largest customer, accounting for 19% of Perrigo's fiscal 2013 sales (down from 20% in fiscal 2012). The company's consumer health care and nutritionals segments have their own sales forces to work with its largest customers.
Advertising costs came in at some $26.1 million in fiscal 2013, up from $12.2 million in 2012 and $16.4 million in 2011. Perrigo uses print and online ads, as well as direct mail campaigns, to promote its consumer health and nutritional products. The generic prescription drug segment markets through physician relationships.
The firm has seen steady increases in sales and net income from operations over the last several years. Perrigo's fiscal 2013 (ends June) sales topped $3.5 billion, a 12% increase vs. the prior year, and sales have risen more than 75% over the past five years as the company has aggressively grown through acquisitions and new product launches. Sources of sales growth in fiscal 2013 included smoking cessation products, cough and cold medicines, animal health, diabetes, generic drugs, and contract manufacturing services.
Net income grew by 10% over the same period to some $442 million from higher sales, partially offset by higher R&D, sales, and administrative spending.
Perrigo has grown its operations through acquisitions of new or complimentary product lines. Along with snapping up other companies' products, Perrigo has its own in-house research and development team that whips up generic formulations of name brand products and also responds to changes in existing national brand products by reformulating its own products. New consumer health products launched in fiscal 2013 included mini nicotine lozenges (generic OTC version of Nicorette mini lozenges), dextromethorphan polistirex (generic OTC Delsym cough syrup), and extended-release guaifenesin (generic of OTC mucus relief drug Mucinex extended release).
In the Rx segment, Perrigo aims to create first-to-market generic formulations of branded drugs nearing their patent expiration date. It focuses on hard-to-produce formulations such as topical medicines, controlled substances, and specialty drugs.
To reduce costs in its API segment, the company is moving certain manufacturing operations from its plant in Israel to an acquired facility in India. The move also frees up space for complex API production at the Israel facility.
To provide enhanced shareholder services and improve visibility, Perrigo transferred its stock listing from the NASDAQ market to the NYSE in 2013.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2012 it expanded its diabetic product offering through the $36 million purchase of CanAm Care, a privately-held distributor of diabetes care products. CanAm Care was merged into Perrigo Diabetes Care, under the consumer health segment.
In a departure from all things pharmaceutical, in 2012 Perrigo expanded into pet care by acquiring the assets of privately held Sergeant's Pet Care Products in a cash deal valued at about $285 million. Then in 2013 it further expanded in the companion animal health market through the $160 million purchase of private US pet health products company Velcera. The purchases created a new product line in the consumer health segment.
To strengthen R&D programs for generic prescription drugs, Perrigo acquired US-based Cobrek Pharmaceuticals for some $45 million in 2012 and UK firm Rosemont Pharmaceuticals for $283 million in 2013. It also expanded its generic drug portfolio of eye care ointments and solutions through the purchase of the ophthalmic division of Fera Pharmaceuticals for some $93 million.