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North American pharma growing by overseas acquisitions

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

European drugmakers have more competition for nearby buyouts these days, according to a report on FiercePharma. With North America’s pharma companies turning to international markets for growth, they’re scouting Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Turkey and the Middle East for potential generics deals, which is likely to push prices upward, experts told Dow Jones.

Most recent Central European pharma deals went to a European drugmaker or an Indian company, according to investment bankers. Now, North American companies are making acquisitions, such as Canadian drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals’ buyout of Lithuania’s AB Sanitas and U.S.-based Watson Pharmaceuticals’ purchase of Greece’s Specifar.

Dow Jones said not only were the winning bidders in these deals North American, but the entire bidding pool was dominated by North American companies. That trend hasn’t gone unnoticed in the M&A community; UBS has identified 17 pharma companies in “local” emerging markets that could be acquisition targets, including Hungary’s Gedeon Richter and Hikma Pharmaceuticals of Jordan.

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