Teva puts Medis—and maybe more—on the block to help ease its debt woes

Teva
Teva has already said it's looking for buyers for its women's health and European oncology and pain businesses.

Teva has already hinted it could sell off more assets than just the ones it’s already name-dropped. And now, with debt spooking shareholders and shares cratering, it’s reportedly plowing ahead.

The Israeli drugmaker is weighing a cast-off of Medis, an Iceland-based unit that develops generics for other drugmakers, a spokesperson said by email, adding that "Teva is looking at every opportunity to focus our business and streamline operations, processes and structure" and a Medis sale "is subject to reaching a definitive agreement with any prospective buyer and receipt of any necessary regulatory approvals."

In addition, the company is considering divesting some of its respiratory treatments, sources told Bloomberg.

Teva, which is racing to keep its credit rating intact and pare down its $35 billion debt mountain, could gin up between $500 million and $1 billion with a Medis sale, while the respiratory business could lure offers of between $500 million and $2 billion, according to Bloomberg. And the assets could draw interest from both pharma industry players and private equity firms.

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The new sale deliberations come as Teva actively scouts out buyers for its women’s health unit and European oncology and pain businesses. On last week’s second-quarter earnings call, interim CEO Yitzhak Peterburg told investors that the company now believes it can rack up $2 billion from sales of those assets and others, as opposed to the $1 billion Teva initially forecast.

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Even if it can, though, Teva will have a long way to go before it’s out of the debt hole it created with last year’s doomed $40.5 billion purchase of Allergan’s generics unit. Since it inked the agreement, price erosion has wreaked havoc on the generics industry, forcing the company to twice walk back guidance by $1-billion plus, plot thousands of layoffs, slash its dividend and more.

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