Teva to acquire Ratiopharm

JERUSALEM Teva Pharmaceutical Industries beat out Pfizer in the race to acquire German generic drug maker Ratiopharm on Thursday, acquiring the company for $5 billion.

The two companies had combined sales of $16.2 billion in 2009, and Teva hopes that it will become a new market leader in the European generics market. Ratiopharm was already the sixth largest generic drug company in the world.

“This is an important acquisition for Teva,” Teva president and CEO Shlomo Yanai said. “This transaction is perfectly aligned with our long-term strategy in which Europe is an important pillar and growth driver.”

Ratiopharm was put up for sale last year following the suicide of its owner, Adolf Merckle, who left behind crushing debts for the generic drug maker and Phoenix Pharmahandel & Co., the family’s drug-distribution business. Phoenix remains unsold.

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