Actavis to acquire Forest Laboratories for US$25bn

Creates a company with US$15bn in revenue and a growing $7bn North American speciality brand business

Dublin-based pharmaceutical manufacturer Actavis has agreed to buy Forest Laboratories of New York, US for a combination of cash and equity valued at US$25bn (€18bn).

The companies said the new group would have combined annual revenues of more than $15bn in 2015 and could realise $1bn in operating and tax synergies. They will also invest $1bn annually in new product development.

Actavis and Forest said the combined company would create blockbuster product franchises for treating diseases of the central nervous system, gastroenterology, women's health, urology and cardiovascular diseases, in addition to Actavis's global generic business.

'With this strategic combination, we create an innovative new model in speciality pharmaceuticals leadership, with size and scale, a balanced offering of strong brands and generics, a focus on strategic, lower-risk drug development, and – most important – the ability to drive sustainable organic growth,' said Paul Bisaro, Chairman and CEO of Actavis.

'Bolstered by one of the deepest and most diversified product portfolios in the industry with an exceptionally strong pipeline, this transaction creates a powerful engine for generating long-term, double-digit revenue and earnings growth.'

The combined company will also have emerging and sustainable portfolios in infectious disease, respiratory, cystic fibrosis and dermatology therapeutic categories.

This transaction creates a powerful engine for generating long-term growth

Brent Saunders, CEO and President of Forest, added: 'Forest is a great fit with Actavis due to our strong legacy in branded speciality and primary care pharmaceuticals with a best in class commercial team, a top-notch drug development organisation and a long history of successful partnerships. The acquisition builds on our blockbuster line call strategy in CNS and GI and dramatically extends our reach beyond the US market.'

Saunders will join the board of Actavis under Bisaro's chairmanship.

Bisaro added that the deal 'fundamentally transforms Actavis, positioning it for a new and even more exciting future'.

'In five short years, my management team has transformed Watson, and now Actavis, from a US generics company to a leader on the global speciality pharmaceutical stage. Brent and his team, in a short period, have made dramatic progress in rejuvenating Forest into a leader in North American brands.'

Last month Forest bought Aptalis, a specialist in treatments for cystic fibrosis and gastrointestinal disorders for $2.9bn from private equity group TPG, while in May 2013, Actavis bought Dublin-based Warner Chilcott for $8.5bn.

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