(Adds details of drugs to be divested, share price, other
WASHINGTON, June 30 Generic drugmaker Actavis
Plc has won U.S. approval to buy specialty
pharmaceuticals company Forest Laboratories on condition
it sell or relinquish the rights to four generic medicines, the
Federal Trade Commission said on Monday.
The deal was valued at about $25 billion when it was
announced in February.
The companies have agreed to relinquish their right to
diltiazem hydrochloride extended release capsules, which are
used to treat hypertension and some anginas.
They also agreed to sell three medicines - ursodiol tablets
used to treat cirrhosis of the liver, propranolol hydrochloride
extended release capsules used to treat hypertension, and
lamotrigine orally disintegrating tablets used to prevent
Shareholders of both companies have already approved the
Dublin-based Actavis, whose biggest competitors include Teva
Pharmaceuticals Industries and Mylan, has
recently been acquiring specialty branded drug makers to boost
profit margins and sales.
Forest, which acquired privately held drugmaker Aptalis in
January for $2.9 billion, faces a patent cliff on several of its
biggest drugs, including Alzheimer's treatment Namenda. It
recently won antitrust approval to buy Furiex Pharmaceuticals
Inc in a transaction worth about $1.46 billion.
Actavis shares closed at $194.88, down 22 cents, and Forest
Labs closed at $88.57, down 77 cents, in U.S. trading.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Ros Krasny, Sandra Maler
and Peter Cooney)