Drugmaker Endo receives US court approval for bankruptcy restructuring

By Thomson Reuters Mar 19, 2024 | 5:42 PM

(Reuters) – Bankrupt drugmaker Endo International said on Tuesday a U.S. Bankruptcy Court has approved its restructuring plan and related opioid settlements to emerge from bankruptcy, which began in 2022.

The company said the transaction is expected to close by late April.

As part of the bankruptcy plan, over 95% of the company’s ownership will be handed over to its lender group, which includes investment firms Oaktree Capital Management, Silver Point Capital and Bain Capital.

Endo had last month agreed to pay up to $465 million over a decade to resolve over $7 billion in claims for purported tax debts, a criminal investigation into the company’s opioid marketing and the federal government’s possible overpayment for its medications.

Endo filed for bankruptcy in August 2022 to address its $8 billion debt and thousands of lawsuits over its alleged role in the U.S. opioid epidemic.

The company has, as part of the bankruptcy restructuring, agreed to pay about $600 million in settlements to states and people afflicted by the opioid crisis and to stop promoting opioids to prescribers.

Endo manufactured and sold a long-acting opioid painkiller called Opana ER, which was later withdrawn in 2017 after the U.S. FDA declared its benefit did not outweigh public health risks associated with opioid abuse.

The U.S. opioid epidemic has caused more than a half million overdose deaths over more than two decades, with fentanyl and synthetic versions a major culprit in recent years, according to government data.

States, local governments, hospitals and individuals have filed thousands of lawsuits against companies that allegedly contributed to the opioid crisis, resulting in more than $50 billion in settlements with drugmakers, distributors and pharmacy chains.

(Reporting by Mariam Sunny in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)