Teva looks for speedy EU antitrust clearance for Allergan generics deal

Teva ($TEVA) is aiming to widen its lead as the world's largest generic drugmaker by folding in Allergan's ($AGN) knockoffs portfolio. But first, it has to get by antitrust regulators--something it's aiming to accomplish this week in the EU.

Teva is reportedly shooting for an early OK in Europe, Bloomberg's sources say--and it'll do that by making concessions to regulators by a Thursday midnight deadline. If officials like the two companies' proposals, they can clear the transaction without an extended probe that could last 90 working days.

Teva--whose generics sales dove 9% to $2.26 billion in Q4--would certainly like to avoid that delay and solidify by March the $40.5 billion acquisition it agreed to last summer. When informed of a possible hold-up for the closing with the company's Q4 earnings announcement last week, shareholders didn't much like that prospect, either, sending shares downward.

If the Israeli drugmaker doesn't manage to seal the deal, Dublin-based Allergan will pocket a $1 billion break-up fee.

Teva is banking on dodging that possibility. As company spokesman Paul Williams told the news service, EU discussions are "productive" and "positive," but Teva can't predict how and when they'll be wrapped.

Meanwhile, elsewhere around the world, Brazil has already rubber-stamped the transaction, and in the U.S., the FTC is still looking things over.

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Special Reports: Top 10 generics makers by 2012 revenue - Teva - Actavis | Pharma's top 10 M&A deals of 2014 - Actavis/Allergan