WILMINGTON,CIMA Labs, which was set to merge with aaiPharma last year before accepting another deal, filed a $16.5 million lawsuit against the Wilmington firm on Wednesday.

CIMA said the lawsuit is based on aaiPharma’s now well documented financial problems and restatements of earnings

“Had aaiPharma’s financial results as restated been public, we would have not entered into a merger agreement with the company,” said Steven Ratoff, chairman and interm CEO of CIMA, in a statement. “Under the circumstances, we believe it is appropriate to seek recovery of the break-up fee and recoup the significant fees and expenses we incurred in connection with negotiating the transaction.”

CIMA is seeking to recover the $11 million “breakup” fee it paid aaiPharma in November after deciding to merge with Cephalon instead. CIMA wants to recover additional fees and costs related to the foiled merger “in excess of $5 million,” it said in a statement.

The suit was filed in Minnesota.

The Federal Trade Commission recently OK’d the CIMA-Cephalon meger.

aaiPharma: www.aaiPharma.com