There's a new giant in the no-name-drug business. On Aug. 29, IVAX announced that it was planning to acquire Zenith Laboratories in exchange for about $600 million in stock. Together, the companies will have a stable of 63 generic drugs and more than 40 applications pending before the Food & Drug Administration. The price is high: more than six times Zenith's sales. But IVAX needs the clout in order to compete in managed care. "This is an important step in the long-run strategy for IVAX," says Viren Mehta of Mehta & Isaly. Conveniently, the purchase will also remove Zenith's new rival to IVAX' version of verapamil, a popular hypertension drug.
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