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Watson expands in Europe with Specifar deal

Watson Pharmaceuticals has acquired Greece-based Specifar Pharmaceuticals, the generic pharmaceutical developer, manufacturer and marketer for €400m ($562m)

Watson Pharmaceuticals has acquired Greece-based Specifar Pharmaceuticals, the generic pharmaceutical developer, manufacturer and marketer for €400m ($562m).

The acquisition adds to Watson's commercial presence in key European markets by providing a portfolio of approved products. The transaction also gives Watson a strong branded-generic commercial presence in the Greek pharmaceutical market.

Specifar's pipeline includes a generic tablet version of Nexium (esomeprazole), which could launch in certain European markets as early as the fourth quarter of 2011. Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, Specifar's former owners could receive additional consideration based on future profits from this product.

Paul Bisaro, Watson's president and chief executive, said: "The strategic significance of this combination is substantial. Watson will now have a powerful product development capability recognised throughout the industry for its strong track record of successfully launching products in key European markets, supported by an accomplished R&D and regulatory capability.

He continued: "The development business will continue to develop and market products to third parties under the Specifar name and now will also develop products for Watson's commercial groups worldwide. In addition, we intend to expand Specifar's development capabilities and create a centre of excellence for product development in international markets. We also believe that Specifar's European management expertise and existing business relationships will support Watson's current and future commercial expansion in European countries."

The Specifar group is in the top five in the Greek branded-generic market, with a portfolio of more than 30 products. It also markets products in Greece under the Alet Pharmaceuticals brand through a separate sales force.

26th May 2011


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