Alpharma Inc. , a specialty pharmaceutical company with global leadership positions in products for humans and animals, today announced that it intends to significantly expand its worldwide presence in animal pharmaceuticals with the acquisition of the Medicated Feed Additive (MFA) business of Roche for approximately $300 million. Consummation of the transaction is expected to take place in May. Specific terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Alpharma has built worldwide leadership positions in human and animal pharmaceuticals. The company's strategy has been and continues to be to expand its business in both human and animal pharmaceuticals through focused internal and external growth.

The Roche business has annual sales of approximately $200 million and consists of products used in the livestock and poultry industries for preventing and treating diseases in animals. About 55% of Roche sales are in North America, 20% in Europe, 12% in Southeast Asia and 12% in Latin America. The Roche MFA acquisition includes all assets, manufacturing and formulation facilities in the US, global product registrations, licenses, trademarks and associated intellectual property. This acquisition strengthens Alpharma's market position, complements its existing animal pharmaceuticals business and provides a number of promising research projects based on new technologies.

"This transaction is consistent with Alpharma's clear and continuing strategy to expand our human and animal pharmaceuticals business. We will realize five major benefits from the Roche acquisition. They include: becoming the worldwide leader in the medicated feed additive business; expanding our business geographically in all key regions of the world; broadening and balancing our product portfolio; acquiring several promising new technologies; and, most importantly, adding to our profitability and increasing our growth rate," said Ingrid Wiik, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alpharma.

"Roach's MFA business will provide a larger base to expand our core competencies in fermentation-based manufacturing, product development, regulatory affairs and marketing. The acquisition will double Alpharma's MFA sales, substantially strengthening its North American presence and expand the business in several regions of the world including South America, Europe and Southeast Asia," said Bruce Andrews, President of Alpharma's Animal Health Division. "Within each of our primary animal pharmaceutical categories -- antibiotics, antibacterials and anticoccidials - we will be ranked number one or number two in the industry, "Andrews said.

Alpharma expects to realize significant efficiencies through the integration of the Roche operations, the realignment and upgrading of certain manufacturing facilities and the addition of new technologies. The acquisition is expected to be neutral to slightly additive to Alpharma's earnings in 2000, exclusive of non-recurring acquisition related charges, and accretive in succeeding years. Importantly, the acquisition is expected to increase the company's earnings per share growth rate to about 30% in 2001. Alpharma will fund the transaction primarily through additional loans from its current banking syndicate and existing credit facilities. The FTC has approved the transaction.