JERUSALEM - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. changed its ticker designation as its ADRs will trade on Nasdaq under TEVA rather than TEVIY.
Last week the Teva USA subsidiary purchased a U.S. drug manufacturing competitor, Copley Pharmaceuticals Inc., for an estimated $220 million in a bid to strengthen its leadership in the American generic market.
Under the terms of the agreement, announced Aug. 18, Teva's American subsidiary is to acquire all outstanding shares of Copley, of Canton, Mass., a leading manufacturer and marketer of multisource prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, for $11 a share in cash in a tender offer that starts next week. Any Copley shares not purchased in the tender will be acquired in a subsequent merger at the same price when Copley will be delisted from the stock exchange. Teva USA also has signed an agreement with Hoechst Corp. to sell its 52 percent of Copley's shares to Teva in the tender offer.
Teva USA is one of the leading players in the generic drug market in the U.S., with 1998 sales of about $400 million. Eli Hurvitz, president and CEO of Teva, said the move would "further strengthen Teva's position as well as increase the range of generic products that Teva - Israel's largest pharmaceutical company - can offer in the U.S."
"Copley is bringing its personnel, facilities, an existing product line, and a development pipeline that complements our existing operations in the U.S.," Hurvitz said.
Last year, Copley had revenues of $130 million, though sales estimates this year are no more than $100 million. Dan Suesskind, CFO at Teva, said Copley, a former competitor, has been experiencing regulatory difficulties over the past six months, yet believes the merger, slated for completion in 2001, will increase Teva USA's annual sales by more than 25 percent.
"The two companies have a lot of synergy between them," he said. "Copley's low profits in the last two quarters are not an indication for the future."