Israeli-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has succeeded in acquiring German generic drug maker Ratiopharm for $4.9 billion, beating out U.S. drug firms Pfizer and Actavis of Iceland in the bidding that ended Friday.
Ratiopharm, owned by the Merckle family, posts an average $8.6 billion in sales annually and is tied with Stada for second place as Germany’s generic medication manufacturer.
It is the second major acquisition for Teva in the past two years; in July 2008, the Israeli pharmaceuticals firm acquired its U.S. rival, Barr.
“This is an important acquisition for Teva,” noted CEO Shlomo Yanai. “This transaction is perfectly aligned with our long-term strategy in which Europe is an important pillar and growth driver. Ratiopharm will provide us with the ideal platform to strengthen our leadership position in key European markets, most notably in Germany, as well as rapidly growing generic markets such as Spain, Italy and France.”
The company added it hopes to more than double global sales and almost triple sales in Europe by 2015.
Germany constitutes the largest market in Europe, and the addition of Ratiopharm to the Teva Pharmaceutical family will greatly strengthen the Israeli generic pharmaceutical firm’s position in the field. Currently less than 25 percent of Teva’s sales are in the European market.
Teva's shares on the NASDAQ continued to hit record highs Friday after the sale was announced, soaring five percent after having risen 65 percent from its low during last year's financial fallout.