Reckitt Benckiser plc (LON: RB.) today announced that it has reached agreements with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to resolve the long-running investigation into the sales and marketing of Suboxone Film by its former prescription pharmaceuticals business Indivior, a business that was wholly demerged from the Group in 2014.
Under the terms of the agreements, RB will pay a total of up to $1.4 billion to fully resolve all federal investigations into RB in connection with the subject matter of the Indivior indictment and claims relating to state Medicaid programs for those states choosing to participate in the settlement. The resolution will also protect the Group’s participation in all U.S. government programmes.
While Reckitt Benckiser has acted lawfully at all times and expressly denies all allegations that it engaged in any wrongful conduct, after careful consideration, the Board of RB determined that the agreement is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders. It avoids the costs, uncertainty and distraction associated with continued investigations, litigation and the potential for an indictment at a time of significant transformation under RB 2.0 and during CEO transition. This is a non-criminal resolution and is on the basis that there is no admission of any violation of law or any wrongdoing by RB or any RB Group employee.
The settlement amount will be funded through existing borrowing facilities and cash generation. RB has a provision of $400 million and will increase its provision to $1.5 billion at its half-year results. RB believes this will cover the settlement and any remaining litigation exposures.