Sunoco, Cephalon both involved in international deals

There certainly was an international accent to the deals announced yesterday involving Philadelphia-area companies.

A Brazilian company bought Sunoco Inc.’s polypropylene business for $350 million. Braskem S.A. is buying a foothold in the huge U.S. chemicals market from Philadelphia’s Sunoco.

In the other deal, Frazer-based Cephalon Inc. bought a Swiss generic-drug maker for $590 million. The transaction is the latest move by a pharmaceutical company to become less reliant on the U.S. market for its sales.

The purchase of Mepha AG will double the size of Cephalon’s international business. The privately held Mepha had sales of about 400 million Swiss francs, or about $379 million, in 2009.

For its nine months ended Sept. 30, Cephalon generated $266.3 million in net sales in Europe compared with $1.35 billion in the United States.

Mepha employs 1,000 people worldwide, including 500 in Switzerland. Expected to close in the next 12 weeks, the deal would bring Cephalon’s global workforce to about 3,800.


David Pernock has been named chief executive officer of Fibrocell Science Inc., a small Exton company that’s been developing a wrinkle treatment.

Until November, Pernock had been a senior vice president at GlaxoSmithKline P.L.C. in the Philadelphia area.

Pernock, 55, was chairman of Fibrocell when it emerged from bankruptcy on Sept. 3. He replaces interim CEO Declan Daly, who is now chief financial officer.

In December, the FDA issued a “complete response letter” regarding Fibrocell’s wrinkle treatment. That means that the company will have to supply more information before the agency can consider possible approval.


Stated another way, even if TARP saved our financial system from driving off a cliff back in 2008, absent meaningful reform, we are still driving on the same winding mountain road, but this time in a faster car.

- from a quarterly report to Congress issued Saturday by the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.