GO
Loading...

UPDATE 2-Mylan makes new higher bid for Sweden's Meda

* Mylan offering 145 SEK/share for Sweden's Meda

* Meda rebuffed an approach earlier this month

* Shares rose 10 pct before trading halt

(Adds source confirming bid)

NEW YORK/STOCKHOLM, April 25 (Reuters) - U.S. generic drugmaker Mylan has made a new and improved bid for Meda valuing its Swedish rival at more than $9 billion, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Mylan raised its bid to 145 crowns per share after its first attempt at a merger with a 130 per share offer was rejected by Meda earlier this month, the source said.

The new bid represented a premium of roughly 50 percent over Meda's share price ahead of reports of the original offer. Trading in Meda shares was halted in Stockholm earlier on Friday after the Financial Times first reported that Mylan hiked its takeover offer, triggering a 10 percent jump in Meda's shares.

A Meda spokesperson declined to comment on the report. Mylan was not immediately available for comment.

Meda rebuffed an initial takoever approach by Mylan in early April, saying it had been contacted about an indicative proposal to combine the two businesses but that its board had opted to reject the proposal.

The generic drugs sector has seen a wave of mergers recently as companies selling popular copycat versions of blockbuster medicines have been hit by a dwindling number of patent expirations and are looking to cut costs.

An acquisition of Meda, whose biggest owner is the Olsson business family, would boost Mylan's presence outside the United States and give it access to distribution channels in Europe and some emerging markets.

It would also boost Mylan's position in speciality pharmaceuticals where it focuses on respiratory and allergy medicines, which is a key area for Meda as well.

Among potential buyers, Mylan was well placed to make a move, bankers and analysts have said. It could also take advantage of lower corporate tax rates as the company's purchase would increase the percentage of revenues coming from overseas, allowing it to move its tax domicile outside the United States.

Meda's biggest owner is Stena Sessan Rederi AB, controlled by the Olsson business family, which owns 22.7 percent of shares, meaning it could block any takeover attempt.

(Reporting by Niklas Pollard and Alistair Scrutton; Editing by Alex Smith, Mark Potter and Jane Merriman)