JERUSALEM - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. raised $135 million in a five-year, multi-currency loan from a 14-bank syndicate organized by the Sumitomo Bank Ltd., of Japan, and Deutsche Bank AG, of Germany.

Dan Suesskind, Teva's chief financial officer, described this as a "balloon" loan in euros, bearing an interest rate linked to the euro, plus 0.55 per mil per year. Also, according to the terms of the loan, Teva may change the currency of the loan every three months.

"This is part of Teva's financial strategy to reinforce a business presence in Europe as well as to increase the proportion of the company's long-term loans in its total liabilities in an effort to improve the company's balance sheet," Suesskind said.

European sales account for about 30 percent of Teva's sales, with the U.S. market providing 50 percent and Israel 20 percent.

Earlier this year Teva announced plans to introduce Copaxone, the first non-interferon agent proven to reduce the frequency of relapses in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, into the UK before the end of 2000, following a recommendation for approval there. - Rachelle H.B. Fishman

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