Meda Slumps After Denying It’s in Merger Talks: Stockholm Mover

Meda AB fell the most in more than a year after the maker of the Dymista allergy medicine said it’s not in talks to merge with another pharmaceutical company.

The stock declined 8.1 percent to 80.25 Swedish kronor in Stockholm, the biggest drop since Feb. 17, 2012.

Meda’s retreat comes after the stock yesterday reached the highest level in more than two years on speculation about a takeover. The Wall Street Journal reported the Solna, Sweden-based company was in talks to be acquired by Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. for almost $5 billion on May 31.

“There are currently no such discussions,” the drugmaker said in the statement today. “Meda’s policy is not to comment on speculation and will not do so in the future. This announcement is an exception to our policy.”

Sun, India’s biggest drugmaker by market value, is looking to expand in the U.S. and Europe and last year considered a purchase of German generic-drug maker Stada Arzneimittel AG, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time. Meda makes nervous-system, pain and inflammation treatments that generated sales of 12.9 billion Swedish kronor ($2 billion) in 2012.

Meda’s recent stock gain reflects speculation about a takeover rather than the “organic valuation” of the company, Johan Unnerus, an analyst with Swedbank Markets in Stockholm, said in an interview. He has a reduce rating on the shares.

Later Deal?

“Meda probably is in play but the valuation is high, which rules out a deal in the near future,” he said. “In the mid-term, it’s possible.”

Stada, whose stock fell 0.8 percent in Frankfurt today, remains “the simplest route for Sun to build up significant business in Western and Eastern Europe,” Thomas Maul, an analyst with DZ Bank AG, said in a note to investors.

Meda announced separately today that it was expanding its production and marketing agreement with another Indian drugmaker, Cipla Ltd., for Dymista. Cipla will provide the formulation while Meda will be responsible for development and sales for the allergic rhinitis treatment, Meda said in the statement.

The deal gives Meda more than 120 new markets for the drug, including in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, the company said.

“Not least, we see great potential in several priority growth markets such as China,” Meda CEO Anders Loenner said in the statement.

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