“Forest Pharmaceuticals deliberately chose corporate profits over its obligations to the FDA and the American public,” Carmen Ortiz, Massachusetts Attorney, said when the settlement was announced.
The company denied the allegations. In his statement at the time, Mr Solomon said, “We remain committed to ensuring that we operate in full compliance with all laws and regulations.”
In 2011, Forest Labs won a proxy dispute against shareholder activist Carl Icahn, who alleged that the company had lost billions of dollars of shareholder value over the previous decade, among other things. Mr. Icahn continued to pursue Forest Labs in the second fiduciary battle in 2012, which ended with one of his candidates being elected to the company’s board of directors.
In a letter to Mr. Icahn during this fight, Mr. Solomon wrote: “Your discourse has so far shown a striking lack of strategic ideas. Instead, it was rife with wild and unfounded accusations, insinuations and misrepresentations.”
However, at some point, Mr. Solomon contacted Mr. Icahn and they had several lunches.
“We became friends,” Mr. Icahn said in a telephone interview. “I thought he was a good gentleman, court lad.” He added: “I didn’t always agree with the way he ran the business, but he was a good guy who was delighted with the result. He made a lot of money.”
In 2013, Mr. Solomon announced his resignation as chief executive and was replaced by Brent Saunders, a chief executive friendly to Mr. Icahn. Then, in early 2014, Actavis (now Allergan) paid $25 billion to acquire Forest Labs. Mr. Solomon, still chairman, stepped down after the acquisition and founded a family-owned investment company with his youngest son, David, who was the head of Forest Labs.
In addition to his sons, Mr. Solomon is survived by his wife, Sarah Billinghurst Solomon, a former assistant general manager of artistic affairs at the Metropolitan Opera, and five grandchildren. His first wife Caroline (Bauer) Solomon died in 1991.