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Barr Raises Bid for Pliva

Barr Pharmaceuticals (BRL) appears ready to dig a little deeper in order to gain control of European generic-drug maker Pliva.

A day after Iceland's Actavis Group said it would offer $2.3 billion for the Croatian firm, Barr has matched the bid. Earlier this week, Barr proposed a plan to buy Pliva for $2.2 billion.

"As we stated when our initial offer was announced, we believe that Barr represents the best potential suitor for Pliva and provides significant value to Pliva's shareholders," said Bruce Downey, Barr's chairman and CEO, in a statement Friday.

Originally, Actavis had offered $1.6 billion, but Pliva's management said that was inadequate. The company raised its price after Barr made its intentions known.

Shares of New Jersey-based Barr were higher by 40 cents, or 0.8%, to $48.25 in light trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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