Perrigo to buy Omega Pharma for $4.5 billion

Perrigo announced Thursday a definitive agreement to acquire over-the-counter healthcare company Omega Pharma for $4.5 billion, expanding its international presence. Perrigo CEO Joseph C. Papa said the deal "accelerates Perrigo's international growth strategy, substantially diversifies our business streams and establishes a durable leadership position in the European OTC marketplace."

The transaction, which has been approved by both companies' boards and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015, comprises the purchase of Omega's equity for 2.48 billion euros ($3.1 billion) and the assumption of 1.1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) in debt. Perrigo noted that 25 percent of the equity purchase price will be funded by stock.

According to Perrigo, the deal will give the company "critical mass in all key European countries" and provide "commercial infrastructure in the high-barrier to entry European OTC marketplace." Perrigo indicated that combined sales from the two companies over the past 12 months would have been $5.7 billion.

Last year, Perrigo acquired Elan for about $8.6 billion, allowing the company to move its corporate address from the US to Ireland.

Sources suggested in July that Omega was considering a sale, with later reports linking several drugmakers with potential bids for the company, including Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim and Sanofi, as well as Actavis.

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