Even Without Purdue Pharma, Sackler Family Is Worth Billions

(Bloomberg) -- For all of the troubles swirling around Purdue Pharma LP, the family that founded the maker of OxyContin is still worth $13 billion, according to estimates by Bloomberg.

Purdue faces hundreds of lawsuits over its role in the U.S. opioid epidemic, which could expose it to billions of dollars in liabilities. The company has hired advisers to prepare for a potential bankruptcy filing, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

The drugmaker is the foundation of one of America’s largest family fortunes, but it may no longer be central to the Sackler family’s wealth. The $13 billion valuation calculated by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index excludes the family’s current holdings in Purdue.

Their net worth calculation includes previous payments from Purdue -- court filings show the family made more than $4 billion from OxyContin sales from 2008 through 2015 -- as well other businesses they’ve built up over the years. Annual revenue at Mundipharma, a global network of independent associated companies that they founded in 1952, is now more than $3.4 billion, according to its website. The accounts of Mundipharma’s U.K. units identify Sackler family members as beneficiaries.

In Bloomberg’s analysis, these closely held companies are valued by comparing them to publicly traded Endo International Plc and Mallinckrodt Plc. The Sackler companies could be worth less if their margins are lower than these industry peers.

The scale of the clan’s fortune is visible in museums worldwide, including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, both beneficiaries of lavish donations from Sackler family members. Such gifts have drawn increasing scrutiny in recent years amid reports linking them to the opioid epidemic.

Purdue spokesman Robert Josephson said Monday that the company has “ample liquidity” and “remains strong and sustainable,” while declining to comment on the reports of a possible bankruptcy filing.

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