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UPDATE 1-Mallinckrodt to spin off generics unit, Amitiza stays with branded business

business@ (Adds details from company statement on reason for retaining Amitiza)

May 28 (Reuters) - Mallinckrodt Plc said on Tuesday it would spin off its generics unit and keep constipation medicine Amitiza as part of its branded drugs business, to be renamed Sonorant Therapeutics Plc.

The company had said in December it was open to a sale of the generics business or would spin it off in second half of 2019. It had said Amitiza would be part of the spun-off unit.

On Tuesday, the company said it believed the new generics company, to be called Mallinckrodt Inc, would emerge with less debt than previously anticipated without the Amitiza drug.

The specialty generics unit's sales in 2018 were $722.6 million, excluding Amitiza. (Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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