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Avista Capital Partners Announces a Majority Investment in Vertical Pharmaceuticals and Trigen Laboratories

NEW YORK and SAYREVILLE, N.J., Dec. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Avista Capital Partners ("Avista"), a leading private equity firm, and Vertical / Trigen Holdings ("Vertical / Trigen" or "the Company"), which owns Vertical Pharmaceuticals and Trigen Laboratories, today announced that Avista has acquired a controlling equity interest in Vertical / Trigen. Avista is partnering with co-founders Steven Squashic, Kevin Hudy, and David Purdy, who will remain in place and retain a significant minority ownership stake in the Company. Moving forward, both Vertical and Trigen will continue to offer their full existing product lines as the Company pursues new opportunities for strategic growth. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Vertical / Trigen is a specialty pharmaceutical company engaged in the development, marketing, and distribution of both branded and generic prescription pharmaceuticals in the United States. Vertical, the segment of the Company focused on branded pharmaceuticals, specializes in women's health, pain management, and respiratory and allergy medications. Its brands include OB Complete, Corvite, ConZip, and Lorzone and are marketed by a dedicated national sales force. Trigen, the generic pharmaceutical arm of the Company, markets over 70 unique formulations in the prenatal, hematinic (iron) supplement, and cough/cold remedy markets, with over 30 products currently in its pipeline. Trigen utilizes a deep network of commercial, regulatory, and product development partners to complement internal expertise in building out its pipeline and ultimately bringing products to market.

In connection with the acquisition, Brian Markison, a Healthcare Industry Executive at Avista, has joined the Company's Board of Directors as Executive Chairman. Mr. Markison has more than 30 years of operational, marketing, commercial development, and sales experience with international pharmaceutical companies. Most recently, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Fougera Pharmaceuticals Inc., the dermatology-focused pharmaceuticals company that was spun off from Nycomed A/S in 2011 and sold to Sandoz, the generics division of Novartis, in July 2012. Prior to leading Fougera, Mr. Markison served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of King Pharmaceuticals before it was acquired by Pfizer.

Mr. Markison said, "I am thrilled to be joining Vertical / Trigen as Executive Chairman. Having led other specialty pharmaceutical companies through various phases of development, I am very excited about the Company's potential to increase market share with existing products while pursuing attractive add-on opportunities to accelerate growth. I look forward to working with the Vertical / Trigen team to support these efforts."

David Burgstahler, Partner and President of Avista, said, "We believe Vertical / Trigen is a strong platform on which to build a diversified North American pharmaceuticals business.  The Company's existing product footprint and development pipeline can be leveraged in combination with product acquisition and licensing opportunities to create a broader branded and generics company with a presence in a number of attractive therapeutic markets. Having worked closely with Brian Markison to grow other businesses in this space, we are confident that his expertise, along with all of the resources Avista has to offer, will help this talented management team take the Company to the next level."

Steven Squashic, CEO of Vertical / Trigen, said, "This is a great day for our company. Everyone at Vertical and Trigen should be proud of what we have achieved together over the last decade and excited about what we can accomplish in the years ahead. Avista has a strong track record in the health care sector. The capital it is investing in our future and its industry expertise will help us build on the progress we have made to date and continue working to deliver even greater therapeutic benefits to patients and caregivers through our medications."

About Vertical / Trigen

Vertical Pharmaceuticals was founded in 2003 with a mission to develop, market, and acquire products offering therapeutic benefits for patients and healthcare providers. Vertical Pharmaceuticals supplies niche prescription pharmaceutical preparations, specializing in women's health and pain management. Vertical's prescription medications are marketed by its dedicated sales force throughout the United States.

Trigen Laboratories is a generic pharmaceutical company offering unique products across an increasing array of categories.  Trigen seeks to bring value-driven generic products to its customers, working vigorously with its partners to identify and develop products which face an assortment of challenges. Additionally, Trigen identifies unique marketing opportunities and is steadfast in its pursuit to deliver products to best serve these markets.

About Avista Capital Partners

Avista Capital Partners is a leading private equity firm with over $5 billion under management.  Founded in 2005, Avista makes controlling or influential minority investments in growth-oriented energy, healthcare, communications & media, industrials, and consumer businesses.  Through its team of seasoned investment professionals and industry experts, Avista seeks to partner with exceptional management teams to invest in and add value to well-positioned businesses.

Media Contacts

James David
Kekst and Company

SOURCE Avista Capital Partners
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