Charmaine of Black Ink Crew Chicago is full of surprises. On a recent episode she agreed to get her FUPA removed prior to a trip to Cabo with her boyfriend ‘Nique. Instead of burning it off the old-fashioned way through exercise Sha Sha took the easy route and got a CoolSculpting fat-freezing procedure done.CoolSculpting is a non-surgical fat-reduction treatment where contolled cooling is used to eliminate fat quickly. It’s safe and FDA-approved and seems effective for people who want to lose weight quickly before a wedding, reunion, etc.
Charmaine was eager to get it done before Cabo. Her cousin Danielle accompanied her, of course. They might have thought they were endorsing a cool product, but CoolSculpting is owned by Allergan – arguably the most-hated drug company in America. Allergan acquired Zeltiq Aesthetics, the previous owner of the product, in 2016 for $2.4 billion. The price equated to about 6.8x Zeltiq’s revenue and 142x EBITDA. Tucked within Allergan, CoolSculpting is likely worth less than $200 million since Allergan trades around 12x EBITDA. That’s a huge negative arbitrage.
Allergan – America’s Most-Hated Drug Company?
Allergan also provides Botox – a huge money-maker that would fit well with CoolSculpting. However, the company is suffering from anemic organic growth and patent challenges from generics rivals. Allergan is known for its vaunted R&D pipeline, but the pipeline might not yield any sizeable fruit in the near term. Currently Restasis, its blockbuster dry eye drug, is under siege from Mylan and Teva. Allergan was so desperate that it sold Restasis to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe; the thesis was to use the Mohawks’ sovereign immunity to dismiss an inter partes review (“IPR”) by a patent board.
Restasis controls 70% of the dry eye market and the price has more than doubled since 2008. Some suspected Allergan was trying to protect is near-monopoly position so that it could continue price-gouging. Such price gouging was the subject of the 2016 presidential debates between Hillary and Donald Trump. The company’s Mohawk deal was an affront to President Trump and the American people. Judge William Bryson invalidated the patents and cited concerns over the Mohawk deal:
“The court has serious concerns about the legitimacy of the tactic that Allergan and the Tribe have employed,” Bryson writes. In his view, Allergan has paid the Tribe to “rent” its sovereign immunity at the US Patent Office.
Now the senate is questioning the deal and Allergan’s market monopoly and wants and answers. And there was Charmaine and Danielle … on national TV stunting for Allergan. WTW?
On Trump And The Global Economy
The second installment of Trump And The Global Economy Town Hall took place October 24th in Fort Greene. It Featured Professor Lance Brofman, Coconut Rob (Coconut Rob Smoothies), Wuyi Jacobs (AfroBeats Radio) and Ralph Baker, author of Shock Exchange: How Inner-City Kids From Brooklyn Predicted the Great Recession and the Pain Ahead.
The event was well-received by the community. We parsed through President Trump’s proposed tax plan and [i] how it was pure economic folly and [ii] high net worth individuals could potentially game the system by shifting income around. Apparently, Kansas Coach Bill Self did this when the state of Kansas cut taxes in the past. We discussed the pros and cons of technology on workers and the economy. How will the economy and country prosper under Trump’s leadership vis-a-vis Obama? What’s behind the verbal sparring with black athletes, ESPN’s Jemele Hill and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un?