M&A Roundup

Hospira and Mayne Pharma; Merck and Serono; Motorola and Symbol Technologies; Actavis Group and Pliva and Barr Pharmaceuticals; Grupo Televisa and ...
Helen ShawSeptember 21, 2006

•Hospira, a hospital supply company that was spun off from Abbott Laboratories, has agreed to acquire Mayne Pharma for $2 billion in cash. The deal will make the combined company the largest producer of generic injectable drugs worldwide; Mayne is the largest producer in Europe.

•Merck, the German drug manufacturer, has agreed to purchase Switzerland’s Serono for $13.3 billion. The transaction will create Europe’s biggest biotechnology company. The new Merck unit will be in Geneva, with its U.S. headquarters in Boston.

•Motorola has agreed to acquire Symbol Technologies in an all-cash deal of $3.9 billion. Symbols designs and makes mobile products such as bar code scanners, mobile computers and other products.

•Actavis Group, an Iceland-based generic drug maker, has stated that it will not increase its $2.5 billion bid for Zagreb, Croatia-based Pliva. Actavis and U.S.-based Barr Pharmaceuticals have been involved in a three-month bidding war for Pliva. It is expected that Barr, which has bid $2.5 billion for Pliva, will win the bid. If completed, Barr’s acquisition of Pliva would make it the third-largest generic drug maker in the world.

•Univision Communications’ proposal to be acquired by a group of investors including private equity firms for $12.3 billion will be subject to vote on September 27. The deal looks more likely now that Mexico’s Grupo Televisa has stated that it will not launch another bid to acquire Univision.

•Scania, a Swedish truck maker, has rejected Germany-based MAN’s $12.1 billion cash-and-stock bid, claiming that the bid does not reflect the company’s fair value. Scania investors have speculated that the company would need a higher offer to merge with its German rival.

•Citizens Communications has agreed to buy Commonwealth Telephone Enterprises for $1.16 billion in cash and stock. The acquisition of Commonwealth, which has $2.4 billion in pro forma annual revenues, will create the seventh-largest local telephone exchange company in the United States.