Teva Gets Boost From Pfizer Feeler

YERUSHALAYIM -

Teva Pharmaceutical is in demand, according to a report by Bloomberg, a piece of intelligence that has lifted the Israeli company’s share price.

Teva’s would-be buyer was the U.S. pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer, which made an acquisition approach at the end of 2014 that was subsequently turned down.

As a result of the disclosure, Teva’s share price rose on Friday by 2.38% to $59.88. During the session, it climbed by as much as 5.8%. Pfizer’s share price fell 1.1%, closing at $32.45. On the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Teva was up 2.34%, at NIS 236.

Pfizer has been looking for deals that will help it to grow, after its $120 billion takeover bid for UK company AstraZeneca failed last year.

Pfizer is only the latest in a series of potential buyers. In the past year, there have been several reports about possible merger and acquisition deals involving Teva, casting  Canadian company Valent and U.S. company Mylan in the acquiring role.

Such reports indicate that major players around the world consider Teva to be an attractive property.

However, on Monday, Globes reported that analysts Louis Pearson and Alistair Campbell of Berenberg have slapped Teva with a “Sell” rating.

Their decision is based on the estimate that insurance companies will require multiple sclerosis patients to switch from Teva’s Copaxone to generic versions of the drug which will likely be launched once the patent expires in September. Copaxone is said to account for about half of Teva’s annual profit.

But the Berenberg analysts are the only of 32 investment houses that cover Teva which have so far recommended selling the stock.

Teva has launched an improved version of Copaxone, administered in three injections per week instead of one daily. The company has already succeeded in persuading 60% of patients taking Copaxone to switch to the new version, which is patent protected until 2030.

Unimpressed, Pearson and Campbell write: “We think that consensus is underestimating the rate at which patients will be forced off the brand, and thereby overestimating future earnings from this franchise.”