April 3 (Reuters) - Generic drug maker Mylan Inc is looking to buy Swedish rival Meda AB in a deal that would create a $23 billion pharmaceutical company, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.
The exact value of the deal is unknown but Mylan is likely to pay a "significant" premium to Meda's market value, a person familiar with the matter told the Financial Times.
Meda's market valuation stood at 29.5 billion Swedish krona ($4.5 billion) at the end of trading on Thursday while Mylan's market value was $18.5 billion.
Pennsylvania-based Mylan has appointed advisers to help it put together a deal for Meda, people familiar with the matter told the Financial Times. (link.reuters.com/veb38v)
Generic drugs continues to be a hotly contested sector with Mylan suing Celgene Corp on Thursday to stop the latter's effort to keep generic versions of two drugs that generate $4.5 billion of annual sales off the market.
Last year, Mylan bought Agila, a unit of India's Strides Arcolab Ltd, for $1.6 billion to expand its presence in the fast-growing generic injectable drugs market.
Mylan's Nasdaq-listed shares closed down about 2 percent at $49.86 on Thursday.
Officials for Mylan and Meda were not immediately available to comment on the FT report.
$1 = 6.54 Swedish krona Reporting By Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bangalore; editing by Andrew Hay