© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Bottles of prescription painkillers Oxycodone Hydrochloride, 30mg pills, made by Mallinckrodt sit on a counter at a local pharmacy, in Provo, Utah, U.S., April 25, 2017. REUTERS/George Frey/File Photo
(Reuters) – Bankrupt drugmaker Mallinckrodt (OTC:) is in talks with major investors about selling some or all of its business units, which could lead to its exit from the opioid business, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the discussions.
Some investors, poised to take control through the company’s ongoing bankruptcy proceedings, are suggesting Mallinckrodt break up its business units, the report said.
Mallinckrodt did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
The Ireland-based company filed for its second bankruptcy in the United States last month, with a restructuring plan that would cut $1 billion from what it owes to victims of the U.S. opioid crisis.
Mallinckrodt, which makes both branded and generic drugs, had first filed for bankruptcy in 2020 to address its high debt load, litigation over its marketing of highly addictive generic opioids and disputes over its drug pricing.
As part of its plan to emerge from bankruptcy in June 2022, the company, which denied wrongdoing, agreed to pay $1.7 billion to settle about 3,000 lawsuits alleging it used deceptive marketing tactics to boost opioid sales.
Mallinckrodt also disclosed in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission last month that it recently received a grand jury subpoena from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia, seeking information about its reporting of suspicious opioid orders to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.