Billionaire supporter Paulson could help Teva twist Mylan's arm

Mylan ($MYL) Chairman Robert Coury has said loud and clear that he doesn't think a tie-up with generics rival Teva ($TEVA) is a good idea. But he's not the only one who wants his voice heard.

Paulson & Co., the hedge fund of billionaire and Teva supporter John Paulson, has boosted its stake in Mylan, meaning it might want a say in how the Teva prospect shakes out, too, Globes reports. Paulson picked up 7 million Mylan shares on April 30, giving it 22 million in total--a 4.5% stake in the drugmaker, Bloomberg notes.

Paulson has been busy nabbing stakes in pharma's M&A prospects over the past year, acquiring a piece of Salix last December before Valeant and Endo entered a bidding war for the North Carolina company. Before that, he built up his position in Valeant target Allergan, though he later decided to back a never-realized Allergan-Shire combo instead.

Teva will have to hope that Paulson can be persuasive, as Mylan may need some prodding to come to the table with the Israeli pharma. Since Coury delivered a caustic rejection of the company's initial $43 buyout bid, Mylan hasn't responded to Teva's latest requests for "productive negotiations" and "constructive, good faith dialogue."

Mylan CEO Heather Bresch

It has instead continued to tout its own M&A prospects, such as its proposed deal for Ireland's Perrigo--a transaction that could thwart a Teva takeover. Though Perrigo has already thrice shot down the wannabe acquirer, CEO Heather Bresch reiterated her company's commitment on Wednesday's Q1 earnings call.

"The combination with Perrigo is simply the next important strategic step in our evolution, and builds on our strong platform consistent with our long-standing and clearly articulated vision and strategy," she said, following the announcement of a $1.87 billion revenue haul that missed consensus estimates. "We have long believed the combination of Perrigo and Mylan represents an extraordinary opportunity."

- get more from Globes
- read Bloomberg's take
- see Mylan's Q1 results and the earnings call transcript

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