Irish pharmaceutical company



said it was going to increase its U.S. presence by buying

Dura Pharmaceuticals

(DURA) - Get VanEck Vectors Morningstar Durable Dividend ETF Report

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in a $1.8 billion stock deal.

The deal would add $300 million in sales revenue in 2001 and would double the size of Elan's U.S. salesforce to more than 1,000.

Dura markets and sells prescription drugs that treat infectious diseases and respiratory conditions. Elan is expanding from a drug delivery company into a pharmaceutical group, with specialized fields such as neurology and pain management.

Earlier this year, Elan paid $575 million in a stock deal to buy



Terms of the latest deal call for Dura shareholders to get 0.6715 Elan share for each Dura share. That translates into a 22% premium based on Friday's closing prices. In regular trading on Friday, Elan closed at $52.13. Dura finished the day at $28.63.