Teva: Hurdles are low

Steve Rosenbush

There's some speculation afoot that Teva's bid to acquire rival generic drug maker Ivax for $7.4 billion could run into difficulty. Regulators in Europe and the U.S. must sign off on the deal, and the combination of two large companies in one industry might raise antitrust concerns. But it seems that's unlikely to happen for two reasons. First of all, the companies focus on different products. Ivax sells, among other things, a generic version of painkiller OxyContin. Teva is set to produce a generic version of Norvasc, the blood pressure medication from Pfizer. With limited overlap, the combined companies will have revenue of about $6.5 billion. But they'll still rank number three in the rapidly consolidating market for generic drugs. It's hard to imagine too much controversy here. In fact, more deals in this sector may be inevitable. Shares of Mylan Labs, which made an unsuccessful bid for King Pharmaceuticals last year, were a little higher today, gaining 10 cents, or 0.56%, to $17.62.

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