Drugmaker Teva Bids $40 Billion for Mylan

The Israel-based pharmaceutical company makes an unsolicited offer for a smaller, Netherlands-based rival as its main product faces competition from generics.

Apr 23, 2015
Bob Grant

WIKIMEDIA, FBIThe deals keep getting bigger in the biopharmaceutical space. Israeli generic drugmaker Teva bid on Tuesday (April 21) to purchase rival Mylan, which is headquartered in the Netherlands, for a whopping $40 billion. The offer was made as Mylan awaited word from Perrigo, an Irish pharma company for which it bid $29 billion earlier this month. Perrigo rejected Mylan’s offer on Tuesday, and industry insiders suggested that Teva may need to boost its bid for Mylan if it expects to acquire the firm. “If they raise their bid, they will have more Mylan shareholders pressuring management to come to the table,” S&P Capital IQ analyst Jeffrey Loo told Reuters.

Teva’s offer may have been prompted by the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of a generic version of the company’s multiple sclerosis drug, the immunomodulator Copaxone, on Monday (April 20). Copaxone accounts for nearly half of Teva’s profits, in which the approved generic competitor, manufactured by Novartis, could make a serious dent. Rumors that Teva would make a play for Mylan have been swirling for weeks, and according to Loo, the smaller firm will have to seriously pursue Perrigo or another takeover bid to stay an independent entity. “If Mylan is really going to fight tooth and nail to stay independent, they need to pursue Perrigo harder,” Loo told The New York Times. “If they don’t, Mylan may be bought out at a higher price.”

For now, Teva seems to be courting Mylan in a way that belies the cutthroat mentality that usually attends corporate takeovers. “We have long respected Mylan’s business,” Teva’s president and chief executive Erez Vigodman said in a statement, “and we are confident that Mylan’s Board of Directors and stockholders will agree that our proposal represents a significantly more attractive alternative for Mylan and its stockholders than Mylan’s proposed acquisition of Perrigo.”

Teva officials predict that a deal with Mylan, which would produce more than $30 billion in revenues and $2 billion in cost savings, could be reached by the end of the year. But the firm will face regulatory and antitrust hurdles if and when the deal does go through.

Update (April 27): Mylan has rejected Teva’s $40 billion buyout offer, the Associated Press reported.