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New chairman to lead Aceto as it explores sale of the company

Port Washington-based drugmaker Aceto Corp. reports quarterly earnings

Port Washington-based drugmaker Aceto Corp. reports quarterly earnings this week. Credit: Barry Sloan

Drugmaker Aceto Corp., which has said it is conducting a “strategic review” of its business, has a new chairman of its board of directors.

Alan Levin, a veteran executive from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, will succeed Albert Eilender on July 1.

Levin has been vice chairman and joined the Aceto board in 2013.

Eilender will serve as chairman emeritus until his planned retirement in December. He has worked for the Port Washington-based company since 2000, including a stint as CEO, and helped it expand beyond chemicals to drug manufacturing.

“During this time of continued generics industry headwinds, there is no person better suited to succeed me than Alan Levin,” Eilender said in a statement on Friday.

Levin said he would work with Aceto CEO William C. Kennally III “in guiding the company’s strategic decisions to maximize shareholder value.”

The leadership change comes as Aceto explores the sale of the company or some of its divisions because of falling prices for some of its generic drugs. The company said in April it had hired the investment bank PJT Partners and Lowenstein Sandler LLP attorneys, both in Manhattan, “to assist in this strategic review process.”

Aceto reported a loss of $210 million for the nine months ended March 31, compared with a profit of $9.4 million in the same period a year earlier.

The loss was attributed to lower sales and profits from the company’s Rising Pharmaceuticals division, including notification that 11 generic drugs will no longer be purchased by the Veterans Administration because the drugs’ ingredients aren’t made domestically.

Sales totaled $542 million in the nine months ended March 31, up from $444 million in the same period a year earlier.

The leadership announcement came after the stock market closed on Friday. Aceto shares rose 21 cents, or 8 percent, to close at $2.83 Monday on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

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