If Iceland's financial crisis was an earthquake, then this is a major aftershock: Actavis Group, one of the world's biggest generics makers, may go on the block for as much as $8 billion. Actavis is 80 percent-owned by Icelandic billionaire Thor Bjorgolfsson's private equity firm Novator. And Bjorgolfsson saw a big portion of his wealth go down the drain when Landsbanki Islands collapsed earlier this month.
Actavis had already hired Merrill Lynch to sift through its various options: sale, takeover, merger or public stock listing. Sources are now telling the Wall Street Journal that Bjorgolfsson's bank-related pain may push him to do a deal. A Novator spokesman said Actavis shareholders aren't looking to do a hasty deal, however. Any sale or merger wouldn't happen before next year, he said.
The global financial crisis could impede potential buyers, however. With companies strapped for credit, the M&A market has slowed considerably.
- read the WSJ article