Actavis to boost tablet capacity; and looking at Ratiopharm

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pharmacology Generic drug Teva pharmaceutical industries

Icelandic generics firm Actavis says expansion of its tablet plant will boost production capacity 50 per cent and create 50 new jobs.

The expansion, details of which were not provided, is scheduled to complete at the end of the year and, according to Actavis, will have the capacity to manufacture an additional 1.5bn tablets a year.

The site, in the south eastern city of Hafnarfordur, already employs around 300 people primarily makes non-branded pharmaceuticals for overseas markets and particularly new product launches.

For example, in October last year Hafnarfordur, through Actavis’ third-party sales division, Medis, supplied 30m tablets of a generic version of the blockbuster cholesterol drug atorvastatin ahead of its launch in Spain this year.

Ratiopharm race on

In other news, rumours that Actavis is one of only a few firms still in the race to buy German generics group Ratiopharm.

Actavis’ name was first mentioned at a contender in the Ratiopharm battle last December when it was listed among a dozen that had expressed an interested in taking the German generics group off the Merckle family’s hands.

The latest suggestion is that Actavis has teamed up with Swedish equity investment group EQT to table a joint bid, although neither organisation has issued a statement on the speculation

Israeli generics firm Teva Pharmaceutical industries is also thought to be interested in Ratiopharm as is Pfizer, although some sources suggest that the US drug giant has dropped out of the race.

None of the firms involved have commented on the deal, however this has not stopped observers from scrutinising the potential ramifications of each particular acquisition.

Analysts at Jefferies told Reuters that: “Teva seems to have a better financial position and the infrastructure to capture cost synergies. However, the smaller size of Actavis may appeal to the family-owned seller​," adding that. "An Actavis acquisition may be somewhat more job friendly."

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