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Irish-headquartered Perrigo buys top brands from GlaxoSmithKline





Global drug giant Perrigo - which bought Irish pharma firm Elan in 2013 for €6.3bn - has agreed to snap up brands including NiQuitin and Panodil from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

Perrigo, which is headquartered in Ireland, didn't reveal how much it's paying for the portfolio of over-the-counter brands, which in 2014 generated combined sales of about $110m (€99m).

It said the new brands will boost Perrigo's branded consumer healthcare unit's 2014 net sales by about 8pc, while also improving its adjusted gross and operating margins.

GSK is selling the products as part of a remedy agreed with the European Commission and other competition authorities to enable the drug company to establish a consumer health joint venture with Novartis.

The other brands being acquired by Perrigo include products sold in pharmacies across the European Economic Area such as cold and flu treatment Coldrex and nasal decongestant Nasin.

Perrigo chairman and chief executive Joe Papa said the acquisition demonstrates the group's ability to execute its so-called 'Base Plus Plus Plus' strategy. That aims to make selective, accretive acquisitions to expand its durable base business.

"We are building on the global platform we established with the Omega Pharma acquisition to capture an even greater share of the $30bn (€27bn) European over the counter (OTC) market opportunity with several well-established, complementary brands that bolster our OTC product portfolio," he said.

Perrigo is currently the target of a $33bn (€29.7bn) takeover attempt by drug company Mylan.

But generic drug maker Teva has proposed paying just over $40bn (€36bn) for Mylan, an offer that has been rejected by Mylan.

Mylan executive chairman Robert Coury wrote to Teva chief executive Erez Vigodman on Monday telling him that Teva needs to clarify whether or not it will make a formal, binding offer to buy Mylan.

"It is time for Teva and its board to stop playing games with our company, its business, mission and strategy and its stakeholders," Mr Coury told Mr Vigodman.

"Teva and its board must stop pursuing what amounts to nothing more than an illusory alternative for our shareholders to the Perrigo transaction," Mr Coury wrote.

The three companies are in the middle of a complex triangle of offers and counter-offers. Teva has taken a 1.35pc in Mylan's stock, which it has said is meant to show its seriousness about getting a deal done.

In this week's letter, Mylan said that it believed that stake violates US antitrust laws.

"Further, Teva has chosen to remain silent on its intentions with respect to using those shares," Mr Coury wrote.

"We consider Teva's stakebuilding as a further indication of its intention to meddle with our business, strategy and mission while remaining unclear as to its actual intentions."

Mylan plans to hold a shareholder meeting during the third quarter, where there will be a vote on Mylan's offer to buy Perrigo.

Mr Coury called Teva's offer for Mylan an attempt to interfere with that process.

(Additional reporting Bloomberg)

Irish Independent