Warner-Lambert on Monday sued Pfizer, seeking to terminate Pfizer’s rights to co-market and share profit from the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor.
The pill, expected to reap $3.6 billion in 1999 sales, is at the heart of an $80-billion hostile takeover bid that Pfizer launched against Warner last month. Warner is seeking to merge with American Home Products, in a $67-billion deal.
Warner, which developed Lipitor, agreed in 1997 to co-market it with Pfizer. Pfizer, worried that it might lose marketing rights if Warner merges with American Home, sued earlier to block that merger.
Under terms of the five-year marketing pact, Pfizer could not make a bid to buy Warner. Pfizer says that standstill provision was no longer valid as a result of Warner’s merger deal with American Home. Pfizer launched a significantly higher counterbid hours later, but was rebuffed by Warner.
In New York Stock Exchange trade, Pfizer rose $1.44 to close at $37.44, Warner-Lambert rose $2.38 to close at $91.38 and American Home fell 50 cents to close at $52.50.