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Meda Rejects New Mylan Takeover Proposal

Stocks in this article: MYL AZN ACT FRX VRX

NEW YORK ( The Deal) -- Swedish drugmaker Meda on Monday once again rejected an approach from Mylan (MYL), saying it felt it would be better off on its own and that its biggest shareholder opposes the offer.

It's the second time this month Meda has rejected an offer from Mylan, which reportedly sweetened its unspecified initial approach to 145 Swedish kronor, which would value the equity at about Skr43.8 billion ($6.7 billion).

"All contacts between Meda and Mylan have been terminated without further actions," said Meda, of Solna, Sweden, leading investors to push the shares down 7.6%, or Skr9.80, to Skr118.70 in mid-day Stockholm trading.

The target is 22.7% owned by the Stena Sessan Rederi AB shipping company controlled by Sweden's Olsson industrial family.

The proposed deal is just one in a sea of dealmaking among international drug companies. New York's Pfizer Inc. is making so-far unsuccessful overtures to London's AstraZeneca (AZN) -- whose equity was worth 58.8 billion pounds ($99 billion) as of Monday morning -- and Dublin generics giant Actavis (ACT) in February announced a $25 billion acquisition of Forest Laboratories (FRX).

An acquisition of Meda would give Canonsburg, Pa.-based Mylan an expanded respiratory treatment business, entree to Russia and potentially allow it to cut its tax bill by relocating its headquarters abroad, JPMorgan Chase & Co. analysts wrote in a recent note.

Meda shares were suspended Friday amid reports of a reworked offer. The company has been a popular target for takeover speculation amid an industry-wide consolidation.

Last year it rejected speculation it was in talks with India's Sun Pharmaceuticals about a potential agreement and, in 2011, the company reportedly chatted with Valent Pharmaceuticals International (VRX) about a potential tie-up.

Mylan has been open about its hopes for a significant purchase. It already expanded abroad once in the past year -- in December it paid $1.6 billion for India's Agila Specialties Pte. Ltd.

Last year, Meda sales rose 4% to Skr13.1 billion, with net profit slipping 31%, to Skr805 million. The company's biggest market is the U.S., followed by Germany, though it gets 15% of revenue in emerging markets.

In the Agila deal, Mylan turned to Morgan Stanley for financial advice and Platinum Partners and Slaughter and May as well as Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP for counsel.

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