Teva to get EU approval for Cephalon buy: source

BRUSSELS Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:34am EDT

A building belonging to generic drug producer Teva, Israel's largest company with a market value of about $57 billion, is seen in Jerusalem March 23, 2010.   REUTERS/Baz Ratner

A building belonging to generic drug producer Teva, Israel's largest company with a market value of about $57 billion, is seen in Jerusalem March 23, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Baz Ratner

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA.TA) is set to secure conditional EU clearance to acquire U.S. specialty drugmaker Cephalon Inc CEPH.O for close to $7 billion, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Monday.

"The (European) Commission is expected to give conditional approval for the deal," said the source, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.

The EU executive, which is scheduled to decide by October 13 whether to clear the acquisition, was not immediately available for comment.

Israel-based Teva TEVA.O, the world's largest maker of generic drugs, gained U.S. antitrust approval for the deal last week after agreeing to supply rival generic drug maker Par Pharmaceuticals PRX.N with Provigil, which is used to combat drowsiness, for one year.

Teva also pledged to sell Par the rights and assets of a cancer pain drug developed by Cephalon and sold as Actiq, and a muscle relaxant, known chemically as cyclobenzaprine hydrochloride.

Teva, which unveiled the deal in May, wants to reduce its reliance on its big-selling Copaxone multiple sclerosis medicine.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Rex Merrifield)

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