Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA) chief financial officer Eyal Desheh says the world’s largest generic drugmaker is open for deals as the pace of industry consolidation quickens.
“We do have an appetite for game-changing deals that will create value by doing the transaction and we’re willing to pursue them,” Desheh said yesterday at a Cowen & Company health-care conference, when asked about the “fragmented” market of neurology companies.
Teva, which announced in January that it would boost dealmaking, may add to a wave of pharmaceutical mergers. Actavis plc agreed to purchase Forest Laboratories Inc. last month, and Mylan Inc. Chief Executive Officer Heather Bresch said last week that the generic-drug maker may make a large acquisition this year.
“We are reading the news, we’re also meeting with these guys and we also see business consolidation or producer consolidation, and that is something that I expect will continue,” Desheh said. “I can predict five years down the road it’ll probably become a normal market.”
Speculation of more dealmaking since Actavis agreed to purchase Forest has helped Mylan gain 18 percent since Feb 18. while Teva added 8.2 percent. The S&P 500 Index gained 1.8 percent in the same period.
“We are encouraged a little bit by the increase in the stock price,” Desheh said. “Remember, this is currency as well.”
Actavis, the world’s second-largest generic-drug maker by market value, agreed to buy Forest for about $25 billion in a deal that will transform it into a developer of brand-name drugs. Generic-drug companies such as Actavis and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. are boosting growth by crossing over into specialty medicines including skin-care treatments, birth control and remedies for digestive diseases.
Teva’s former chief executive officer, Jeremy Levin, was ousted in October after a dispute with the board. Under Levin, Teva spent less than $1 billion in deals as he sought to boost growth through smaller partnerships and acquisitions.
Teva picked director Erez Vigodman to become CEO on Jan. 9 to lead a drive to cut $2 billion in costs as patents expire on top-seller Copaxone, a treatment for multiple sclerosis. Vigodman is credited with rescuing growth at generic agricultural chemicals maker Makhteshim-Agan Industries Ltd. by orchestrating a merger with China National Chemical Corp. in his previous role.
With the ouster of Levin and the arrival of Vigodman, there has also been speculation that Teva may acquired, broken up or take part in a merger of equals.