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Mylan raises offer for Meda to $9bn

US generics looks to increases broaden portfolio with Swedish firm
Mylan

The current flurry of merger activity in the drug industry shows no sign of abating, with Mylan making a $9bn bid for Swedish rival Meda.

The latest offer is at a sizeable premium to Mylan's earlier offer of $6.7bn - made a few weeks ago - but has been met with equal disinterest by Meda's board. In a statement, the latter company said it had decided to reject the proposal and terminated all contact between the two companies.

"The board's decision is based on a strong belief in the continued potential of Meda as a stand-alone company," said Meda in a statement issued this morning.

Mylan ranks among the top generic pharma companies and - like many of its peers - wants to leaven its product mix with higher-margin specialty medicines, broaden its portfolio and expand into new markets.

Meda has been steadily building its emerging markets business in countries such as China and Brazil and has a strong position in dermatology and respiratory products, as well as a small over-the-counter medicines franchise. Revenues were 13.11bn Swedish krona ($2bn) last year, with operating profit of 1.55bn Swedish krona.

Highlights of its portfolio include a combination nasal spray called Dymista (fluticasone and azelastine) for hayfever that is in the roll-out phase and added sales of 449m Swedish krona ($68m) last year to become the firm's third-largest product.  

Also due to launch shortly is Aerospan (flunisolide), an inhaler therapy for asthma - incorporating a spacer to improve drug delivery to the lungs - that Meda has said could achieve sales of 2bn Swedish krona (around $300m) within five years. The Swedish firm acquired the product along with Acton Pharma last year.

Combining the two businesses would create a generic and specialty drugmaker with revenues of a little under $9bn-a-year, around half the size of market leader Teva.

Mylan's offer could be undermined by the reticence of one of its own shareholders, however, which is alluded to in Meda's statement on the latest bid.

Mylan's sweetened bid for Meda comes amid a $100bn-plus offer from Pfizer to merge with AstraZeneca, Valeant's unsolicited $45bn bid for Allergan and a three-way asset swap between GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and Lilly.

Article by
Phil Taylor

28th April 2014

From: Sales

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