Indian drugmakers among final few bidders for $1B Teva generics unit

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Indian drugmakers Aurobindo and Intas are said to be going head-to-head in a bidding war for a block of generics sold by Teva Pharmaceutical in the U.K. and Ireland. 

Aurobindo and Intas have both reached the final stages in the bidding process and have tabled "binding offers of around $1 billion," according to the Economic Times

Neither of those bids may be enough to seal the deal, however. Mylan, Novartis and private equity firms Cinven and Apollo Global Management are also rumored to be in the running, and analysts have previously suggested the sale price could potentially go to $1.5 billion or more.

Israel-based Teva said it is not in a position to confirm the identity of any potential bidders, nor can it comment on market speculation on sale values.

Teva was forced to put the generics business up for sale as a condition of its $41 billion takeover of Allergan Generics, a deal that has put it at the top of the worldwide generics market. 

Teva's antitrust agreement with the European Commission also requires the drugmaker to sell off its Icelandic generics business and a block of other generic products marketed across Europe. The Teva-Allergan deal was first agreed in July 2015 and closed earlier this month.

Aurobindo is ranked among the top 5 Indian pharma companies and has already been in the market for Teva/Allergan's cast-offs, buying one U.S. product divested at the request of the Federal Trade Commission. Cipla, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories and Zydus Cadila have also tapped into the opportunity and bought several drugs each. 

Privately-held Intas is thought to lie outside the top 10 in the field, and has itself been the subject of takeover speculation. Late last year, rumors circulated that Sun Pharma was gearing up to make a $2.3 billion bid for the company.

If an Indian company does win the bidding war for Teva's U.K.-Ireland business, the deal will tie in with an ongoing trend among the country's cash-rich pharma companies: They've been growing by acquiring assets from western drugmakers. Last year, Cipla bought U.S.-based firms InvaGen and Exelan Pharma, while Dr. Reddy's recently entered the U.S. consumer healthcare market by buying six over-the-counter medicines from Ducere Pharma.

Both Aurobindo and Intas have been active, too. Aurobindo acquired the western European business of Actavis (now Allergan) in 2014, while Intas snapped up Combino Pharma's hospital business in Spain and Portugal last year.

- read the Economic Times article

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