Pharmaceuticals firm Novartis denies talk on bid for generic drug maker Actavis

Swiss pharma major Novartis AG (VTX:NOVN) does not intend to pursue a takeover of US drugmaker Actavis Inc (NYSE:ACT), a company spokesperson told Reuters, refuting a previous report by the Wall Street Journal.

Earlier this week, the paper cited insiders as saying that Novartis was mulling over the possibility of making a bid for Actavis, which had reportedly turned down separate offers from peers Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (TSE:VRX) and Mylan Inc (NASDAQ:MYL).

The WSJ also said that both Valeant and Mylan were considering their options following the rejections.

According to another WSJ source, Valeant was close to a deal for the purchase of Actavis three weeks ago, but had failed to sign one as the latter’s directors recognised just a small premium in the proposed all-stock transaction. In turn, Bloomberg reported that Actavis had turned down a cash-and-stock bid by Mylan, which valued the target at USD120.00 (EUR93.33) per share, or USD15bn in total.

Last week, Actavis announced it was holding early-stage talks in connection with a potential combination with Irish sector player Warner Chilcott plc (NASDAQ:WCRX).