Valeant said to step up talks on potential $800M deal for Egypt's Amoun

Valeant CEO J. Michael Pearson

Last month, reports said Valeant ($VRX) was eyeing up one of Egypt's largest drugmakers. Now, word has it, those talks have progressed, and the Canadian pharma could be ready to pull the trigger in the coming weeks.

The serial buyer is in advanced negotiations to buy Amoun Pharmaceutical, Bloomberg reports, though no final decision has been made--meaning any deal could still fall apart. A sale could value the company between $700 million and $800 million, the news service's sources said in May.

If Valeant were to grab Amoun, it would mark its third buyout of the year. After losing out on a months-long hostile takeover try for Allergan last November, the avid dealmaker has already snapped up North Carolina's Salix--beating out rival bidder Endo ($ENDP)--and the assets from bankrupt Seattle biotech Dendreon in the first half of 2015.

But unlike those transactions--which helped the company bulk up in GI and oncology, respectively--an Amoun tie-up would strengthen Valeant in fast-growing emerging markets. Beefing up in developing nations was one perk of the proposed Allergan merger, and a goal Pearson has already worked toward with deals like 2012's for Mexican branded-generics company Atlantis Pharma.

It's all part of Valeant's strategy to expand through M&A in high-growth spaces--both geographic and therapeutic. Before the Salix and Dendreon deals, Valeant's moves--like the Allergan ($AGN) play, and its 2013 pickup of Bausch + Lomb--were centered on skincare and eye care, two other hot fields Pearson had tabbed for expansion.

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