Mylan Wins Backing of Top Holder Abbott to Avoid Takeover

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Mylan NV’s top shareholder is backing the drugmaker’s plan to avoid being taken over by its biggest rival in the generics industry.

Abbott Laboratories said it would vote its 14.5 percent stake in favor of Mylan’s $33 billion bid for Perrigo Co. at a shareholder meeting on a potential deal in July or August. A deal with Perrigo will let Mylan block a $40.1 billion takeover by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., so long as Mylan drops its offer for Perrigo. Perrigo has so far rebuffed Mylan.

Abbott gained its stake in a deal that sold part of Abbott’s generic drugs business to Mylan in exchange for shares.

“Abbott has considered the entire situation and we believe Mylan’s standalone strategy and acquisition of Perrigo will further enhance its platform, is strategically compelling, value enhancing for shareholders, and offers a clear path to completion,” Abbott Chief Executive Officer Miles White said in a statement Tuesday.

Mylan shares fell 2.1 percent to $72.03 at 10:54 a.m. in New York. Perrigo shares rose 3.1 percent to $188.98. Teva’s American depositary receipts dropped less than 1 percent to $60.55.

Perrigo makes prescription and over-the-counter drugs that Mylan is seeking to add to its lineup. About half of Perrigo’s $4.06 billion in revenue last year came from its consumer health-care division, including store-brand versions of popular medicine like Sudafed and NyQuil, sold in retailers such as Wal-Mart and Walgreens.

Rejected

Mylan has vehemently rejected Teva’s offer to buy the company, which would create a generic drugs powerhouse with about $27 billion an annual sales. In letters, Mylan has accused Teva of “meddling” in its attempt to buy Perrigo, and said that a combination with Teva would be a poor cultural fit and have a hard time getting approved by antitrust regulators. Teva has said that it’s committed to a deal, and could win the necessary approvals.

“We are very pleased that, while Abbott is under no obligation to do so, Abbott has voluntarily chosen to express its support of Mylan,” Mylan Executive Chairman Robert Coury said in a statement Tuesday.

Teva said that a combination with Mylan makes sense. “Teva remains fully committed to consummating a transaction,” Teva said in a statement.

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