Indivior shares plunge after £1bn Reckitt claim

The claim relates to an indemnity contained in an agreement when Reckitt spun Indivior off into a standalone business in 2014

Shares in Indivior plunged on Friday after it revealed that Reckitt Benckiser had filed a £1bn claim against the drugmaker in a London court.

The claim related to an indemnity contained in an agreement signed between the two companies when Reckitt spun Indivior off into a standalone business in 2014, Indivior said.

It added that the claim was submitted to the Commercial Court in London on November 13, but the company had not yet been served.

Shares plummeted about 40pc to 80p before recovering some ground to be almost a fifth lower at 99.7p, valuing the company at £763m. 

Indivior said: "The claim has not been served on [Indivior] and the company does not have any further details at this time.  The company will assess with its advisors the background and merits to the case and will provide an update in due course."

Reckitt, a consumer goods giant that makes Cillit Bang, Vanish and Nurofen, spun-off of its pharmaceutical division into a separate stock listing in 2014.

However, since the companies demerged, Indivior has been plagued by lawsuits over its opioid addiction treatment Suboxone. 

In October, former chief executive Shaun Thaxter was sentenced to six months in prison and ordered to pay $600,000 in fines and forfeitures after pleading guilty to a criminal charge involving the marketing of the drug.

Suboxone, which has an opioid component, was approved by a Massachusetts regulator for use by patients who were recipients of the US Medicaid programme.

Prosecutors alleged Indivior deceived the healthcare benefit programme and doctors into believing Suboxone was safer and less likely to be abused than similar drugs.

A spokesman for Reckitt said: "As you would expect, we regularly take certain procedural steps to preserve potential claims, especially with a view to any potential statute of limitation issues.  We do not consider it appropriate to comment further."