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Teva comes up as front-runner to buy Cephalon

JERUSALEM — Cephalon has another suitor in the form of the world’s largest generic drug company.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries said Monday that it would buy Frazer, Pa.-based Cephalon for $6.8 billion, undercutting efforts by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, which had offered $5.7 billion in March.

The boards of both companies have agreed to the acquisition, equal to $81.50 per share. Cephalon previously had turned down Valeant’s offer, prompting the Mississauga, Ontario-based company to take its case directly to Cephalon’s shareholders.

Teva said the buyout would create a robust pipeline that includes more than 30 drugs in late-stage clinical trials, enhancing Teva’s branded drug portfolio with treatments for cancer, respiratory diseases, pain management and central nervous system disorders.

“We are embarking today on a new and exciting future for Teva’s branded business, and we are delighted that we will be working together with the Cephalon team,” Teva president and CEO Shlomo Yanai said. “This is transforming for Teva’s branded business, as it will help us to deliver on our strategic goal of creating a diversified, multifaceted company.”

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