Investment fund Waterland, one of the businesses of Belgian businessman Mark Coucke, has been ordered to pay €266 million to pharmaceuticals company Perrigo in a dispute over the takeover of Omega Pharma.
Omega Pharma was a company created by Coucke in 1987, selling generic pharmaceuticals and para-pharma products, including a nasal spray made of purified seawater.
That made Coucke rich enough to be a billionaire at one point, although his status has been reduced again thanks to some less advisable investments, like the 2008 Chip phone which, not to put too fine a point on it, did not work.
In 2015 Coucke sold his founding business, Omega Pharma, to Perrigo for €3.8 billion. The sale took place on behalf of what had by then become a consortium of Coucke himself and the investment group Waterland.
Shortly after the takeover Perrigo began to accuse Waterland of fraud, of having falsified the company’s figures to make it appear more attractive than it was by disguising its debt position.
Coucke tossed the blame back on Perrigo. “It’s like buying a car, driving it into a wall and then going back to the seller and demanding your money back,” he said in a comment at the time.
Perrigo had originally made a claim for €1.9 billion, exactly half of the price paid to take over Omega Pharma.
At the time of the purchase, Coucke & Co placed €248 million in an escrow account to cover any dispute that may come up. Coucke himself also lodged a counter-claim against Perrigo for an undisclosed sum, claiming the company did not act in good faith in the transaction.
Source: The Brussels Times