Mylan Chief: Acquisition by Teva Not Feasible

U.S. generic drug maker says firm is committed to completing takeover of Perrigo.

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Teva's tablet production plant in Jerusalem.
Teva's tablet production plant in Jerusalem.Credit: Bloomberg

Generic drug maker Mylan moved quickly on Friday to pour cold water on published reports that Teva Pharmaceuticals is considering a bid to acquire it.

“We have studied the potential combination of Mylan and Teva for some time and we believe it is clear that such a combination is without sound industrial logic or cultural fit,” Mylan Executive Chairman and former CEO Robert Coury said.

“Further, there would be significant overlap in the companies’ businesses and we believe that it is unlikely that any such combination could obtain antitrust regulatory clearances,” he said.

Coury said plans to acquire Perrigo remain on track. “Mylan is fully committed to its stand-alone strategy, including its proposal to acquire Perrigo, and today’s speculation has no impact whatsoever on this strategy,” Coury said in a statement.

Mylan last week announced a $29 billion offer to buy Perrigo in a move that some analysts suggested was a tactic to help fend off an acquisition by larger rival Teva.

Teva spokeswoman Denise Bradley declined to comment on the rumor that the world’s largest generic drug maker and Israel’s biggest company was considering a bid for Mylan. The speculation was reported by Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal, citing unidentified sources. Teva has not made a formal approach to Mylan, Bloomberg reported.

“Of course, should any party make an actual offer to acquire Mylan, the board would carefully consider it in exercising its fiduciary duties in the best interests of the company, our stockholders and other stakeholders,” Coury said.

Israel-based Teva has a market value of about $64.4 billion and annual revenue of about $20 billion.

Mylan, which moved its headquarters from Pittsburgh to The Netherlands in a so-called inversion deal to take advantage of lower taxes outside the United States, has a market value of about $32.7 billion and annual revenue of about $7.7 billion.

A Mylan/Perrigo combination would have annual revenue of about $15 billion.

The pharmaceutical industry has been in the grip of a takeover spree as companies look for new products and pipelines to offset a fall in sales. Teva has largely remained on the sidelines, but it has indicated in recent months it has an appetite for entering the fray and bought a small company, Auspex, in a $3.5 billion deal last month.

Teva’s top selling drug, the multiple sclerosis treatment Copaxone, is likely to meet its first generic competition later this year and the company must find substitute revenues quickly.

On Thursday, Novartis’ Sandoz unit won U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for a generic version of the multiple sclerosis treatment. Mylan has also sought approval to market generic Copaxone, though its version hasn’t been approved yet.

On Sunday, Teva said it would be offering to buy out the contracts of some 200 employees at its Kfar Sava plant this week as its seek to cut costs in expectation of lower Copaxone sales. The company said it would be offering severance packages equal to 250-300% of what is required under the law at an average cost of 800,000 shekels ($204,000).

In related news, Jeremy Levin, who briefly led Teva Pharamceuticals before leaving in a public spat with its board, is now leading a startup focused on developing drugs for rare neurological disorders.

New York-based Ovid Therapeutics said Thursday it had named Levin CEO and had signed its first deal with Danish drug manufacturer Lundbeck. South African-born Levin left Teva abruptly in 2013 amid widely publicized disputes with the board. He has served as chairman of Ovid since 2014.

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