WATSON PHARMACEUTICALS TO BUY ANDRX CORP

APRIL 01, 2006

Two more generic drug companies are planning to join forces. Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc (Corona, Calif) has agreed to buy smaller rival company Andrx Corp (Davie, Fla) for $1.9 billion in cash. The deal is expected to close within the next 6 months.

Allen Chao, PhD, chairman and chief executive officer at Watson, hailed the merger as an opportunity to increase the number of medicines Watson has under development, add on a drug-distribution business, and boost profits starting at the beginning of 2007. "This deal will make Watson a much stronger company and position us for growth," with a total of 60 drugs in the pipeline, Dr. Chao said.

When the deal closes, Watson will become the third-largest supplier of generic drugs in the United States, following Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (Israel) and Mylan Laboratories Inc (Canonsburg, Pa).Watson also will benefit from Andrx's expertise in developing controlled-release drugs. In addition, the merger will increase Watson's presence in a year when many blockbuster brand name drugs will lose their patent protection and become available to the generic market.




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