Agreement expands international growth platform and adds vaccine business.

Abbott Laboratories is picking up Solvay Pharmaceuticals for €4.5 billion, or about $6.6 billion, in cash. The deal gives Abbott entrance into the vaccines market, a complementary portfolio of therapeutics, and a stronghold in certain emerging markets.

It also includes full global rights to the Tricor (fenofibrate) franchise; currently Abbott has U.S. rights to Tricor and pays royalties to Solvay. The drug is indicated to manage cholesterol.

The transaction will be approximately $0.10 accretive to ongoing earnings per share in 2010, accelerating to more than $0.20 by 2012, and increasing thereafter. It also includes payments of up to E300 million if certain sales milestones are met between 2011 and 2013.

Belgium-based Solvay Pharmaceuticals is expected to add over $3 billion in annual sales, the majority of which will come from outside the U.S. Solvay has built an infrastructure in emerging markets in Eastern Europe and Asia.

The acquisition will also add approximately $500 million to Abbott’s annual pharmaceutical R&D investment. Solvay also has a molecular diagnostics unit, which will become part of Abbott’s diagnostics organization.

Solvay has treatments for hypertension, Parkinson’s disease, Ménière’s disease, vertigo, and irritable bowel syndrome. Solvay also offers products to treat men’s and women’s hormonal health and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.

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