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Actavis Group
Type Private
Founded 1956
Headquarters Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
Key people Sigurður Óli Ólafsson (CEO)
Industry Pharmaceutical
Revenue $2 billion (December 2005)
Employees 11,000
Actavis Group headquarters in Hafnarfjörður

Actavis is an international generic pharmaceutical company based in Iceland that was founded in 1956 as Pharmaco. Listed on the Icelandic Stock Exchange until 2007, it was taken private by Novator Partners, an investment vehicle of the chairman Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson.

In the late 1990s, Actavis employed fewer than one hundred people and operated solely in the Icelandic market. In 1999, Actavis acquired Bulgarian rival Balkanpharma, beginning a period of substantial growth.

Since then, Actavis has made 25 acquisitions and now operates in 40 countries and employees over 11,000 people. The Group has one of the broadest portfolios in the generics sector with over 650 products on the market, in addition to over 400 products in the development pipeline and in registration.

Actavis is currently among the five largest generic pharmaceutical companies in the world. Its turnover for 2006 is predicted to be 1,390 million euros, compared to 56 million euros in 1999.

The chairman of the company is Icelandic businessman Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson. Robert Wessman became President and CEO of Actavis following the company’s merger with Delta in 2002, where he had served as CEO since 1999. A business graduate and lecturer at the University of Iceland, Wessman worked previously at Icelandic transportation company Samskip, advancing to the post of CEO in Germany. Robert is also a Board Member of the Icelandic Chamber of Commerce.

On the 24th of November 2006, Actavis announced the departure of Svafa Gronfeldt, Deputy to the CEO. She leaves Actavis to pursue a new position as Dean of Reykjavik University. Sigurður Óli Ólafson takes her place as Deputy to the CEO. On 5 August 2008, Róbert Wessmann stepped down as the CEO to focus on his personal investments through his company, Salt Investments. Sigurður Óli Ólafsson took his place as CEO.

One noteworthy service offered by Actavis is the "Evidence-based medicine (EBM) Research Service". The service is free of charge for registered Medical Doctors (MD's) and is offered out of Austria and Switzerland. A registered MD can send a research inquiry to an Actavis team of specialists from Austrian universities, who will research the topic and provide a research report to back to the MD.


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