Watson's buy of Swiss Actavis approved in EU

BRUSSELS Fri Oct 5, 2012 11:20am EDT

BRUSSELS Oct 5 (Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc secured EU regulatory clearance on Friday to buy Swiss peer Actavis Group for at least 4.25 billion euros ($5.53 billion) to reinforce its international reach.

Watson, one of the world's biggest suppliers of generic drugs, said in April that the deal would immediately boost earnings. It forecast synergies of more than $300 million within three years.

The European Commission said in a statement that the deal would not hurt competition.

"The investigation showed that despite significant changes in the competitive situation in some of the markets, a sufficient number of credible and strong competitors will continue to exercise a competitive constraint on the merged entity," the EU watchdog said.