Yesterday, generic pharmaceutical company Akorn, Inc. announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Advanced Vision Research, Inc.

Based in Woburn, MA AVR is a premier over-the-counter ophthalmic company that develops and markets eye care products under the TheraTears® and MacuTrition® brand names. In 2010, AVR generated sales of $20 million, which consisted of domestic sales through major retail chains and sales in 20 countries across 5 continents.

Akorn also announced plans to launch a new Consumer Health Division to enter the $1.2 billion over the counter eye care market, pending the acquisition of AVR. Akorn will license new products and develop private labeled eye care products for major retailers in the hopes of further expanding its market reach. The company named Bruce Kutinsky, Pharm.D., as its President of the newly formed Consumer Health Division. Mr. Kutinsky joined Akorn as its Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy in 2010. Prior to joining Akorn, Mr. Kutinsky served as the Vice President of Strategic Solutions at Walgreens. Mr. Kutinsky held various senior management positions at Option Care, Inc., which was acquired by Walgreens in 2007. Mr. Kutinsky started his career as a retail pharmacist and has a doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.

Raj Rai, Akorn CEO, remarked, “AVR is a great strategic platform to expand into the OTC eye care market. We have had a positive relationship with AVR for several years as a primary contract manufacturer. With the acquisition, we can add value in future growth as we have an existing sales infrastructure that markets products to ophthalmologists, optometrists, and retailers nationwide complementing AVR’s sales initiatives.”

Akorn expects the AVR acquisition to be neutral to its 2011 earnings per share after the impact of transaction related expenses and purchase price allocation of $.01 to $.02 in earnings per share. In 2012, AVR is expected to be accretive by $.03 to $.04 earnings per share.