Teva Said to Seek Fast EU Approval for Allergan Unit Bid

  • Firms seen offering remedies to EU by Thursday p.m. deadline
  • Deal would create world's largest maker of generic drugs

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. will try to win an early European Union approval for its takeover of Allergan Plc’s generics unit by making concessions to regulators this week, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Teva and Allergan will meet a Thursday midnight deadline to propose remedies aimed at allaying any EU antitrust concerns, said the person, who asked not to be named because the process is private. 

If EU regulators are satisfied with the proposals, they could clear the transaction without an extended probe that can last about 90 working days. The companies plan to close the deal by the end of March.

Teva’s $40.5 billion cash-and-stock bid for Allergan’s generics drugs business will make it the world’s largest maker of generic medicines, giving it greater negotiating power with governments and private-health insurers. Allergan will receive a $1 billion termination fee from Teva if the deal fails to close due to regulatory issues.

Teva said discussions with the EU are "productive and positive" but that it can’t predict how or when they will be completed, according to an e-mail from spokesman Paul Williams.

Allergan didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The European Commission in Brussels declined to comment.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is still examining the transaction, which Brazil’s antitrust regulator approved without conditions in December.

Teva, which introduced a copy of the heartburn pill Nexium last year, estimates one in seven generic prescriptions dispensed in the U.S. involves one of its products. Allergan, better known for its Botox wrinkle-smoothing injections, also makes cheaper versions of drugs like Eli Lilly & Co.’s anti-depressant Cymbalta.