Teva speeds toward Allergan deal close with EU thumbs up

Teva ($TEVA) has nabbed the European approval it needs to close its $40.5 billion acquisition of Allergan's ($AGN) generics unit, clearing a big regulatory hurdle as it awaits word from officials in the U.S. But there are some conditions.

The Israeli generics giant will have to sell off "a majority" of Allergan's current generics business in the U.K. and Ireland, it said. In Iceland, it'll be discarding its own business while hanging onto the Dublin drugmaker's. The company has also agreed to jettison molecules in 24 other countries on the continent.

Teva offered up concessions to regulators last month in order to expedite the closing process, side-stepping a deeper antitrust-related probe into the deal that could have taken up to 90 business days. The company has been aiming for an end-of-March closing--something its investors, who sunk shares last month when the pharma warned them of a potential delay--would like to see as well.

Teva, whose anchor generics business has stumbled a bit lately, is hoping Allergan's business can give it a boost. In Q4, generics sales sank 9% to $2.26 billion, though without the impact of foreign exchange rates, that drop was much less severe at 1%.

The company still needs to clear the acquisition in the U.S., though, and it said in a Thursday statement that it "continues to work closely with the FTC" to make that happen.

Meanwhile, Teva's competition may be able to reap the benefits of its cast-off moves. Top rival Mylan ($MYL)--which Teva hostilely pursued as a target before changing gears to pick up Allergan's generics unit--could be among them, analysts have predicted.

- read Teva's release

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