Bloomberg: Watson on verge of deal for Actavis

Watson Pharmaceuticals ($WPI) isn't just eyeing a deal for generics rival Actavis. It's close to an actual agreement to buy the Swiss company. Bloomberg's sources say Watson may pay about €4.5 billion, or $6 billion, to get a hold of Actavis and its sprawling portfolio.

If the deal comes to fruition, it would create one of the world's biggest generics makers. And it would deliver some cash back to Deutsche Bank, which backed billionaire Bjorgolfur Thor Bjorgolfsson's acquisition of the company in 2007, Bloomberg notes. Plus, as Reuters has reported, combining the two could yield cost savings of €200 million.

Apparently, Watson's U.S. competitor Mylan ($MYL) also made overtures to Actavis, but no formal offer. The company is a mish-mash of operations assembled via acquisition, something that has deterred some potential buyers, Bloomberg's sources said. The company posted about €1.9 billion in sales last year.

Last week, Reuters reported that Watson and Actavis were in buyout talks; its sources pegged a deal at $7 billion to $7.5 billion. Bloomberg's sources say a deal could come as soon as next week, but more likely would be announced after Easter.

- read the Bloomberg piece