3/21/2012 3:21:00 PM
Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc (WPI.N) is close to buying Swiss-based Actavis for around $7 billion, marking the latest deal between generics companies racing to achieve economies of scale, three sources familiar with the matter said. The deal would involve U.S.-based Watson, already among the world's five largest generic drugmakers, paying between 5.0 billion and 5.5 billion euros ($6.6-7.3 billion) for Actavis, a business not much smaller than its own, the sources said. After rapid expansion in the early 2000s, Actavis underwent a leveraged buyout in 2007 by Icelandic tycoon Bjorgolfur Thor Bjorgolfsson, which ultimately left Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) holding billions of euros of its debt.
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