Accounting problems that have plagued US generic drugmaker Par Pharmaceuticals for some quarters, as well as declining revenues, prompted the company’s management board to ask for the resignation of chief executive Scott Tarriff and executive chairman Mark Auerbach.

The two have stepped down in favour of new CEO Patrick LePore and John Abernathy, who will serve as non-executive chairman.

And with consolidation now rife among the generics sector, the shake-up was almost inevitably followed by speculation that Par may now be vulnerable to an opportunistic predator.

Par has been forced to restate its sales and earnings reported since 2004, and is in the throes of a metamorphosis from a generic pure-play into a company that also offers branded specialty drugs, reducing its exposure to the cyclical pricing that can create problems for smaller generics houses.

It launched its first brandname product, the appetite stimulant Megace ES (megestrol acetate), last year, having bought a drug development business called Kali Labs in 2004.