Watson Wins EU Approval to Buy Generic-Drug Maker Actavis

Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc., maker of the generic version of Lipitor cholesterol pills, won European Union approval to buy closely held drugmaker Actavis Group hf to create the third-largest global generic-drug maker.

The European Commission said the combined company would continue to face competition from a sufficient number of credible and strong rivals, according to an e-mailed statement today.

Parsippany, New Jersey-based Watson agreed in April to buy Actavis for 4.25 billion euros ($5.6 billion), expanding its reach in Europe and Asia.

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