FOURTH AMENDMENT TO PRE-NEGOTIATION AGREEMENT

 

                                                                   EXHIBIT 10.31

                  FOURTH AMENDMENT TO PRE-NEGOTIATION AGREEMENT

                  THIS FOURTH AMENDMENT TO PRE-NEGOTIATION AGREEMENT dated as of
January 16, 2003 (this "Fourth Amendment"), by and among AKORN, INC., a
Louisiana corporation ("Akorn"), AKORN (NEW JERSEY), INC., an Illinois
corporation ("Akorn NJ") (Akorn and Akorn NJ being sometimes referred to herein
individually as a "Borrower" and collectively as the "Borrowers"), and THE
NORTHERN TRUST COMPANY, an Illinois banking corporation (the "Lender");

                                   WITNESSETH:

                  WHEREAS, the parties heretofore entered into the
Pre-Negotiation Agreement dated as of September 20, 2002, as amended by the
First Amendment dated as of October 18, 2002, the Second Amendment dated as of
November 26, 2002, and the Third Amendment dated as of December 30, 2002 (the
"Prior Agreement"); and

                  WHEREAS, the Borrowers have requested an amendment to Section
4.1 of the Prior Agreement;

                  WHEREAS, the Lender has agreed to the Borrowers' request, but
only on the terms set forth herein;

                  NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the premises and the
covenants, agreements and acknowledgments contained herein, and other good and
valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which are hereby
acknowledged, the parties hereby agree as follows:

                  Section 1. Defined Terms. All capitalized terms used and not
otherwise defined in this Fourth Amendment shall have the same meanings as in
the Prior Agreement.

                  Section 2. Amendment.

                  2.1 Section 4.1 of the Prior Agreement is hereby amended to
read as follows:

                  4.1 Forbearance Period. Subject to compliance by each Borrower
with each of the terms and conditions of this Agreement, and without waiving the
Existing Events, the Lender hereby agrees to forbear from enforcing its rights
or remedies pursuant to the Loan Documents and applicable law (including,
without limitation, to make a demand for payment as a result of the Payment
Default) as a result of the Existing Events from the Agreement Closing Date
until the earlier to occur of the following (as the case may be, the
"Forbearance Termination Date"): (i) January 31, 2003 and (ii) the date on which
a Borrowing Condition Failure occurs.

                  Section 3. Pre-Negotiation Agreement and Documents to Remain
In Effect; Confirmation of Obligations; References. Except as expressly modified
and amended by this Fourth Amendment, the Prior Agreement shall remain in full
force and effect as originally executed and delivered by the parties. In order
to induce the Lender to enter into this Fourth

Amendment, the Borrowers hereby (i) confirm and reaffirm all of their
obligations under the Documents, as modified and amended as described above and
under the Pre-Negotiation Agreement, as modified and amended as described above;
(ii) acknowledge and agree that the Lender, by entering into this Fourth
Amendment, does not waive any existing or future default or event of default
under any of the Documents or the Prior Agreement, or any rights, powers or
remedies under any of the Documents or the Pre-Negotiation Agreement; (iii)
acknowledge and agree that the Lender has not heretofore waived any Borrowing
Condition Failure, or any rights or remedies under any of the Documents or the
Prior Agreement; and (iv) acknowledge that they do not have any defense, set-off
or counterclaim to the payment or performance of any of their obligations under
the Documents or the Prior Agreement, as amended hereby. All references to the
Prior Agreement shall henceforth be deemed to refer to the Prior Agreement as
modified by this Fourth Amendment and as hereafter modified by any amendment,
modification or supplement thereto.

                  Section 4. Confirmation of Certifications, Representations and
Warranties. In order to induce the Lender to enter into this Fourth Amendment
the Borrowers hereby certify, represent and warrant to the Lender that, except
as otherwise disclosed to the Lender in writing prior to the date hereof,
including in the Pre-Negotiation Agreement arid in the Exhibits and Schedules
attached thereto and/or in documents submitted to the Lender prior to the date
hereof (including, but not limited to, any and all financial statements and
reports, budgets, statements of cash flow and governmental reports and filings)
(collectively referred to herein as "Disclosures"), all certifications,
representations and warranties contained in the Documents and in the
Pre-Negotiation Agreement and in all certificates heretofore delivered to the
Lender are true and correct as of the date hereof in all material respects, and,
subject to such Disclosures, all such certifications, representations and
warranties are hereby remade and made to speak as of the date of this Fourth
Amendment.

                  Section 5. RELEASE. EACH BORROWER ON BEHALF OF ITSELF AND ITS
AFFILIATES, SUBSIDIARIES, SUCCESSORS, ASSIGNS, PRINCIPALS, SHAREHOLDERS,
BENEFICIARIES, OFFICERS, MANAGERS, DIRECTORS, AGENTS, REPRESENTATIVES, ADVISORS,
EMPLOYEES AND ATTORNEYS, HEREBY JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY RELEASES, WAIVES AND
FOREVER DISCHARGES EACH OF THE LENDER AND ITS AFFILIATES, SUBSIDIARIES,
SUCCESSORS, ASSIGNS, PRINCIPALS, SHAREHOLDERS, BENEFICIARIES, OFFICERS,
MANAGERS, DIRECTORS, AGENTS, REPRESENTATIVES, ADVISORS, EMPLOYEES AND ATTORNEYS
OF, FROM, AND WITH RESPECT TO ANY AND ALL MANNER OF ACTIONS, CAUSES OF ACTIONS,
SUITS, DISPUTES, CLAIMS, COUNTERCLAIMS AND/OR LIABILITIES, CROSS CLAIMS,
DEFENSES THAT ARE KNOWN OR UNKNOWN, SUSPECTED OR UNSUSPECTED, PAST OR PRESENT,
ASSERTED OR UNASSERTED, CONTINGENT OR LIQUIDATED, WHETHER OR NOT WELL FOUNDED IN
FACT OR LAW, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, IN TORT OR OTHERWISE, AT LAW OR IN EQUITY,
BASED UPON, RELATING TO OR ARISING OUT OF ANY AND ALL TRANSACTIONS,
RELATIONSHIPS OR DEALINGS WITH OR LOANS MADE TO THE BORROWERS PURSUANT TO THE
LOAN DOCUMENTS AND/OR THE PRIOR AGREEMENT PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVENESS HEREOF.

                                      -2-

                  Section 6. Entire Agreement. This Fourth Amendment sets forth
all of the covenants, promises, agreements, conditions and understandings of the
parties relating to the subject matter of this Fourth Amendment, and there are
no covenants, promises, agreements, conditions or understandings, either oral or
written, between them relating to the subject matter of this Fourth Amendment
other than as are herein set forth.

                  Section 7. Successors. This Fourth Amendment shall inure to
the benefit of and shall be binding upon the parties and their respective
successors, assigns and legal representatives.

                  Section 8. Severability. In the event any provision of this
Fourth Amendment shall be held invalid or unenforceable by any court of
competent jurisdiction, such holding shall not invalidate or render
unenforceable any other provision hereof.

                  Section 9. Amendments, Changes and Modifications. This Fourth
Amendment may be amended, changed, modified, altered or terminated only by a
written instrument executed by all of the parties hereto:

                  Section 10. Construction.

                  (a) The words "hereof," "herein," and "hereunder," and other
words of a similar import refer to this Fourth Amendment as a whole and not to
the individual Sections in which such terms are used.

                  (b) References to Sections and other subdivisions of this
Fourth Amendment are to the designated Sections and other subdivisions of this
Fourth Amendment as originally executed.

                  (c) The headings of this Fourth Amendment are for convenience
only and shall not define or limit the provisions hereof.

                  (d) Where the context so requires, words used in singular
shall include the plural and vice versa, and words of one gender shall include
all other genders.

                  (e) Each party to this Fourth Amendment and legal counsel for
each party have participated in the drafting of this Fourth Amendment, and
accordingly the general rule of construction to the effect that any ambiguities
in a contract are to be resolved against the party drafting the contract shall
not be employed in the construction and interpretation of this Fourth Amendment.

                  Section 11. Execution of Counterparts. This Fourth Amendment
may be simultaneously executed in several counterparts, each of which shall be
an original and all of which shall constitute but one and the same instrument.

                  Section 12. Governing Law. This Fourth Amendment shall be
governed by and be construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the
State of Illinois.

                  [REMAINDER OF PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK]

                                      -3-

                  IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have caused this Fourth
Amendment to be executed by their respective officers thereunto duly authorized,
as of the date first written above.

Address for Notices:                         AKORN, INC.

2500 Millbrook Drive
Buffalo Grove, IL  60089

Attention: Chief Financial Officer           By
Telecopier No.: (847) 279-6191                  --------------------------------
Telephone No.: (847) 279-6100                   Name:
                                                     ---------------------------
                                                Title:
                                                      --------------------------

                                             AKORN (NEW JERSEY), INC.

                                             By
                                                --------------------------------
                                                Name:
                                                     ---------------------------
                                                Title:
                                                      --------------------------
50 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, Illinois  60675                     THE NORTHERN TRUST COMPANY
Attention:  Olga Georgiev
Telecopier No.: (312) 630-6105
Telephone No.: (312) 444-2438                By
                                                --------------------------------
With a copy to                                  Name:
                                                     ---------------------------
White & Case LLP                                Title:
200 S. Biscayne Blvd., Suite 4900                     --------------------------
Miami, FL  33131
Attention: John K. Cunningham, Esq.

                                      -4- 

Basic Info X:

Name: FOURTH AMENDMENT TO PRE-NEGOTIATION AGREEMENT
Type: Fourth Amendment to Pre-negotiation Agreement
Date: May 21, 2003
Company: AKORN INC
State: Louisiana

Other info: