Actavis may buy Warner Chilcott

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Actavis' Friday announcement that it is in talks to take over Warner Chilcott is a signal that 2013 is going to be one of transformation for the umbrella company that was known as Watson Pharmaceuticals until January. Watson bought Switzerland-based Actavis in October 2012, a move that created the world's third-largest generics pharmaceutical drug company. Post-merger, Actavis had $1.5 billion in sales and threw $98.8 million toward R&D for the period ended March 31, 2013.  The company said at quarter's close that it expected net revenues to reach around $8.1 billion for the year.

The financial trend is contrary to that of Warner Chilcott, which saw sales slide 13% during the quarter, to $578 million. Sales of its oral contraceptives business rose 6% to $9 million for the quarter, and the FDA approved two new oral contraceptives between April and May. Warner expects to launch the approved ferrous fumarate tablets, known as Minastrin 24 FE in early August, but said in a statement Friday that it is holding off on launching the other oral contraceptive for the time being.

A deal would fatten Actavis' antibiotics, dermatology, women's health and contraceptive portfolio, in addition to adding its line of gastroenterology and urology products.

Both companies said in their respective statements that they would not provide any more detail about the discussions, other than that they are happening.

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