The Ticker / Teva Launches Generic Version of Schizophrenia Drug in U.S.

Generic drugmaker Mylan raises offer for Perrigo as Teva seeks to take over Mylan; Antitrust Authority probing pricing of Strauss dairy snacks.

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Teva's headquarters in Jerusalem.
Teva's headquarters in Jerusalem.Credit: Bloomberg

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has launched a generic version of the anti-schizophrenia drug Abilify in the United States. Annual U.S. sales of the original version, which was developed by the Japanese firm Otsuka Pharmaceutical, were $7.8 billion last year, the medical data firm IMS reported. Abilify is also prescribed for the treatment of certain manifestations of bipolar disorder. Teva is selling its generic version, known as aripiprazole, despite pending patent litigation and will have to pay damages to Otsuka if it loses. (Yoram Gabison)

Mylan raises offer for Perrigo
Generic drugmaker Mylan has raised its offer for Perrigo to $34.1 billion, or about $242 per share, less than a week after Perrigo rejected its earlier bid. Mylan is now offering $75 in cash and 2.3 of its shares for each Perrigo share, the company said Wednesday. The earlier offer was for $222 per Perrigo share, comprising $60 in cash and 2.2 Mylan shares. Mylan said last week it would take its $31 billion offer for Perrigo directly to shareholders, in what is set to be one of the most high-profile hostile takeover attempts of the year. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, in turn, has been seeking to take over Mylan. (Reuters)

Antitrust Authority probing pricing of Strauss dairy snacks
The Israel Antitrust Authority is looking into the Strauss Group’s profit margins on its dairy snacks, including its iconic Milky chocolate pudding snack that was the focus of public attention last year after an Israeli in Berlin noted that a similar product there was selling for a fraction of the price. Antitrust authorities will also be looking into Strauss’ pricing of its yogurt beverages. The company says it meticulously obeys the law and is cooperating with antitrust authorities. In the past, the Antitrust Authority has taken the position that profits of up to 20% of production costs are considered reasonable. This stance has come in for major criticism from manufacturers, however, who say the figure is much lower than what is accepted in other Western countries. (Ora Coren)

Stratasys issues earnings warning for second quarter in a row
Stratasys, the 3D printer company, issued an earnings warning on Tuesday, the second quarter in a row in which it has done so. The firm is projecting first-quarter revenues of $171 million to $173 million, lower than analysts’ forecasts of $199 million, noting in part the negative effects of a strong dollar. Shares of the company, which is traded on the Nasdaq exchange, responded to the company’s announcement by slumping 16% in late trading Tuesday. Stratasys is also predicting annual revenues of $800 million to $860 million and adjusted net profits in the $63 million to $90 million range. Analysts had predicted $938 million in revenues for the year. Headquartered in Rehovot, the company was founded in Edina, Minnesota. (Omri Zerachovitz)

TASE stocks slump, but Golf & Co. surges
Stocks were generally lower in Wednesday's trading. The benchmark Tel Aviv-25 index declined by 0.69% to 1,648.56 while the Tel Aviv-100 was off 0.65% to 1,433.11 points. Volume was 1.3 billion shekels ($336 million). Among the shares of note was clothing retailer Golf & Co., which surged by 8.2% on media reports that Clal Industries, which has a 62% stake in the company, is seeking to sell its interest for 800 million shekels, a major premium over Golf & Co.’s current market price. Clal Industries has denied making such a decision. Among Wednesday’s losers was Alon Blue Square Israel, which declined by 6.6% against the backdrop of financial difficulties at its Mega and Eden Teva Market food retailers. The Banks-5 index declined by 1.6%, led by Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi, both of which slumped by 1.8%. (Dror Reich)

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