Europe gives generics merger the green flag


Two of the top five global generic medicines manufactures, Watson and Actavis, have been given the go-ahead to merge by the European Commission. Under the deal, Watson – which is predominantly active in the US – will acquire Actavis for €4.25 billion (£3.4 billion).

The combined company will become the third largest generics business in the world, after Israel’s Teva, and Sandoz, the generics arm of Swiss firm Novartis. According to Watson’s chief executive, Paul Bisaro, the aim of the acquisition is to strengthen the company’s position outside of the US. ‘In a single, commercially compelling transaction, we more than double Watson's international access and strengthen our commercial position in key established European markets as well as exciting emerging growth markets, including Central and Eastern Europe and Russia,’ he says.

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