1. Actavis/Forest Laboratories

Deal value: $25 billion
Deal status: Closed

Actavis' $25 billion deal for Forest Laboratories ($FRX), announced in February, is only one, albeit the largest, of a series of deals that CEO Paul Bisaro has orchestrated as he has morphed generics drugmaker Watson Laboratories into Actavis ($ACT) and Actavis into a multitiered industry player.

A few years ago, Bisaro came to the conclusion that consolidation in the generics business and a dwindling supply of newly off-patent blockbusters added up to slower growth and the need for a new strategy. He decided to move into higher-margin branded drugs to supplement the less profitable generics business.

He first merged with generic-drug maker Actavis, took on its moniker, then started a series of buyouts that preceded the Forest deal. That included last year's $8.5 billion deal for Ireland's Warner Chilcott and its portfolio of women's products.

With Forest, it nets a small stable of branded drugs, including the antidepressant Viibryd and the blood-pressure treatment Bystolic. Forest, on the other hand, gets paired up with a company that has deeper pockets. Activist investor Carl Icahn finally gets the selloff of Forest and the payout for which he has been agitating for years.

The deal didn't go off without a hitch, however. Forest acknowledged in May that it had settled for an undisclosed sum with shareholders that believed it had rushed headlong into Actavis' arms.

For more:
Forest spills on Actavis deal details as part of shareholder settlement
Forest founder, CEO set for $100M-plus payoff from Actavis buyout
Sources: AstraZeneca made lowball bid for Forest ahead of Actavis deal
Icahn: Activist investing works, and Forest deal shows it
Actavis inks $25B deal for Forest in bid to build its brand stable

-- Eric Palmer (email | Twitter)

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1. Actavis/Forest Laboratories