Canada’s richest man pays $100 million to settle price-fixing charges

Story updated with comments from Barry Sherman, brother Wally and the officials. LONDON (CNNMoney) — Canada’s richest man has paid $100 million to settle allegations that his pharmaceutical company tried to control U.S. generic…

Canada’s richest man pays $100 million to settle price-fixing charges

Story updated with comments from Barry Sherman, brother Wally and the officials.

LONDON (CNNMoney) — Canada’s richest man has paid $100 million to settle allegations that his pharmaceutical company tried to control U.S. generic drug prices.

Barry Sherman, the founder of Toronto-based Apotex, confirmed in a statement Thursday that the company had paid $100 million to settle allegations raised in a Department of Justice probe. He also said the company had agreed to “proactively cooperate” with an investigation into its U.S. business.

“We are pleased that we were able to resolve these matters in a fair and reasonable manner without any admission of liability and without need for an adverse court judgment,” Sherman said.

As part of the settlement, Apotex said, it agreed to remain in compliance with U.S. price-setting rules for the next 15 years. The company also appointed a compliance officer for a five-year term, and has replaced all its senior managers, the company said.

Apotex declined to be interviewed on camera but issued a statement calling the agreement a “fair and reasonable” outcome to a three-year-long investigation.

The drug industry has increasingly been targeted by regulators for alleged collusion. Over the past 18 months, investors have been hoping to see settlements of cases such as the one involving Apotex. The company has a market value of $5.5 billion.

Shares in Apotex fell 8% on Thursday but pared some of those losses after Sherman announced the settlement.

Barry Sherman, 74, rose to prominence in the pharmaceutical industry through dozens of acquisitions, including 20-year takeover streak that was among the longest of any U.S. pharmaceutical company.

The bulk of those acquisitions took place before Sherman retired as CEO in 2002. He remains on the board of directors, and still owns at least 24% of Apotex.

Rival Merck paid $465 million to settle similar charges in 2015. Fellow drug company Gilead agreed to pay $12.5 million in 2016. More recently, Celgene agreed to pay $7 million and Eli Lilly to pay $26 million.

Wally Sherman, Barry’s brother, stepped down as chairman of Apotex in July. He will remain on the board.

Apotex’s largest shareholder is the Rockefellers.

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