Pharmaceutical Co. Settles SAC Lawsuit

Nov 10 2010 | 4:08am ET

The long-running, often nasty, sometime vexatious legal battle between SAC Capital Advisors and Canadian pharmaceutical company Biovail is finally at an end.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which merged with Biovail in June, agreed to pay US$10 million to SAC to settle a countersuit filed by the hedge fund in February. Biovail's own lawsuit against SAC—which the Stamford, Conn.-based firm called "vexatious"—was dismissed last year.

Another lawsuit against SAC, filed by Biovail shareholders, met the same fate.

Valeant's announcement of the settlement, which came alongside its quarterly loss announcement, also included the closest thing to an apology that SAC is likely to get.

"The initiation of litigation against SAC and others in 2006 by Biovail's management at the time was regrettable," CEO J. Michael Pearson said. "We would like to put this incident behind us."

Valeant also settled a lawsuit filed by Gradient Analytics, a research firm and one of SAC's co-defendants in the Biovail litigation. SAC and Gradient were accused of conspiring to drive the company's stock price down.

The US$10 million will cover a "portion" of SAC's legal expenses in the case. Still, the hedge fund said it was "pleased with this outcome."

"SAC continues to believe that Biovail's lawsuit and the media campaign that accompanied it were designed to distract critics from the company's own conduct," the firm said.

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