ANI Pharmaceuticals, the Baudette-based maker of generic and specialty drugs, announced plans to acquire Novitium Pharma in a $163.5 million deal that should increase its drug-commercialization capabilities.

"Strengthening our well-established generics business with enhanced development capabilities and increased focus on niche opportunities is a key pillar of ANI's growth strategy," Nikhil Lalwani, ANI's chief executive, said in a statement.

Novitium, based in East Windsor, N.J., makes niche generic products in liquid, capsule, tablet and powder forms. It has a 50,000-square-foot facility for manufacturing and research and is adding 20,000 square feet to it.

Lalwani said the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility is a key attraction in the deal. He also said ANI would be able to add more size to its contract development and manufacturing business.

Novitium said it expects to launch 25 or more additional products in 2021 and 2022, has 21 abbreviated new drug applications filed with the Food and Drug Administration and 30 more products under development.

Novitium co-founders Samy Shanmugam and Chad Gassert are expected to remain with the company.

The deal structure includes an $89.5 million cash payment and $74 million in ANI stock, with the potential for additional cash to Novitium owners of $46.5 million depending on the business reaching certain milestones as a part of ANI.

The board of directors of ANI and equity holders of Novitium have approved the deal but it still needs to earn approvals from regulators and ANI shareholders. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2021.

Separately, ANI announced its latest financial results, saying it lost $3.6 million, or 30 cents a share, in the fourth quarter of 2020. That narrowed from a loss of $4.8 million, or 41 cents a share, in the fourth quarter of 2019. Revenue for the quarter was up 19% to $57.3 million.

Adjusted for one-time events, ANI earned 80 cents a share in the period, down from $1.08 a share a year earlier.

For full-year 2020, the company lost $22.5 million, or $1.88 a share. Its adjusted earnings amounted to $42 million, or $3.50 a share, which was down 31% from $5.06 a share in 2019.

Revenue for the year was $208 million, up less than 1%.

Patrick Kennedy • 612-673-7926