Scraps From Possible Teva-Mylan Deal Tempt Drugmaker Amphastar

As Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. pushes to buy Mylan NV in a protracted takeover fight, drugmaker Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Inc. is interested in snapping up products that could get sold off for antitrust reasons.

A merger between the two giant generic drugmakers could produce sell-offs of brands, product lines and regional businesses to make a merger palatable to antitrust authorities. That means some smaller parts could trickle down to companies like Amphastar, which is valued at about $731 million.

“We’re looking for deals -- everyone’s looking for deals,” Jason Shandell, president of Amphastar, told attendees last week on the sidelines of an investor conference. “We’re just waiting for the Mylan-Teva deal to go through to look at what they divest.”

Shandell confirmed in a follow-up conversation, after his discussion with attendees, that he was more interested in the byproducts of a hypothetical Mylan-Teva deal than if Mylan completed a takeover of Perrigo Co. instead. In an e-mail Wednesday, he said his comments to other attendees were part of a private conversation.

“We were talking generally about the industry and musing about several inside jokes,” he said.

Amphastar’s most recent acquisitions have been to add facilities. Last year, it bought a manufacturing plant from Merck & Co. for $34.4 million.

In 2014, the Rancho Cucamonga, California-based company recorded a loss of 12 cents a share, excluding certain items, and analysts forecast a loss of 32 cents a share this year.

Merger Saga

Amphastar produces about 15 injectable products, and Shandell said the company wants to buy more injectable treatments, which are harder to manufacture and can command higher margins. Last year, injectables made up 94 percent of Amphastar’s $210 million revenue.

Teva, for its part, has about 40 injectable drugs, and Mylan about 70. If there’s overlap to be sold, Shandell said he wants some of the pieces.

Teva proposed buying Mylan for $40.1 billion in an April 21 letter and has since bought 3 percent of Mylan stock to show its commitment. Mylan rejected the offer and instead is trying to buy drugmaker Perrigo Co., which so far has declined.

Mylan has said it doubts a Teva deal could withstand antitrust scrutiny, though Teva has said it’s willing to make the necessary divestitures. The companies traded barbs again on Monday, with Mylan pressing Teva for a legally binding offer and Teva maintaining that its proposal is serious.

“Mylan is saying it’s not going to happen, but stranger things have happened,” Shandell said in the follow-up conversation at the investor conference.

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