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      Teva CEO'S likely visit to India sparks off M&A buzz

      Posted AtThe Economic Times. India Times

      The global chief of Teva Pharmaceuticals, world's largest generics drug maker, will visit India this month, in an indication of the growing attraction of India to global generic drug companies. Teva officials based in India said that Israel Makov, president and chief executive officer of the company, will be in the country by the end of this month.

      The impending visit has sparked off speculation about possible buyouts or investments by the Israeli giant. The Hyderabad-based Matrix has been at the centre of this buzz, with the stock surging 4.2% to Rs 229.05 on Wednesday as over 7 lakh shares changed hands. A Matrix official told ET that the company does not comment on market speculations.

      Makov's trip has generated considerable interest in the industry and investor circles. A few months ago, the industry buzz had it that Teva was looking to acquire a company in India. The speculation is once again gaining momentum and Makov's visit may result in significant investments by the drug maker in the country.

      Teva made its first investment in India in '03 when it acquired Regent Drugs from JK Drugs and Pharma for $8m. The company's Indian operations are currently based in Faridabad. Teva has also entered into alliances with other Indian companies to source raw materials and intermediates. Earlier this year, Teva appointed former Ranbaxy CEO and MD, DS Brar, to advise the company on possible investment options. At that point, several names were being bandied around as possible acquisition targets for Teva. These included companies such as Aurobindo, Matrix and Cipla.

      But with Teva's acquisition of Ivax, a leading US-based generics player, the speculation died down. The merger of Teva with Ivax has created a generics behemoth, with a global revenue of over $7bn from 50 countries, which is a market share of approximately 12% of the worldwide $58bn generics market.

      December 16, 2005


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