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Mallinckrodt to spin off specialty generics unit, rename specialty brands group

Mallinckrodt PLC is spinning off its specialty generics and active pharmaceutical ingredients business to its shareholders.

Mallinckrodt Inc., a newly formed company that will hold the specialty generics business, will be the entity listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker MNK.

The remaining specialty brands company will continue to be listed on the NYSE, will be renamed Sonorant Therapeutics PLC and will trade under the ticker SRTX.

Sonorant will retain constipation drug Amitiza, or lubiprostone, which was originally planned to be part of the spun-off generics unit. "We now believe retaining the Amitiza product will better serve the needs of the specialty brands company, providing revenue diversification and stronger cash flows to support our commitment to debt reduction," Mallinckrodt President and CEO Mark Trudeau said.

The separation, which is subject to Mallinckrodt board approval, is expected to be completed in the second half.

Matthew Harbaugh will become president and CEO of the new specialty generics company. Harbaugh is president of Mallinckrodt's specialty generics business and formerly the company's CFO. Eric Slusser will assume the CFO role in the new company.

Staines-Upon-Thames, U.K.-based Mallinckrodt nominated James Sulat as independent chairman of the specialty generics company's board. He was most recently CEO of biopharmaceutical company Maxygen Inc.

Goldman Sachs & Co. is acting as financial adviser on the spinoff, while Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz is the legal adviser.