has amended its bid for the Croatian generic-drug company
, but it didn't comment about the new terms or the price.
For weeks, Barr has been engaged in a seesaw bidding war for Pliva with Iceland's
. Barr's previous bid was $2.3 billion, but Actavis has topped that offer with $2.5 billion.
Barr said Friday it is prohibited by Croatian law from discussing the new terms unless a Croatian regulatory agency discloses the amount.
"From the outset, we have stated that we are committed to completing this transaction," said Bruce L. Downey, Barr's chairman and CEO, in a prepared statement. "Contrary to statements made by our rival in this process where there is significant overlap in geographic operations, the combination of Barr's and Pliva's product lines, facilities, geographic strengths and research and development focus are complementary."
Meanwhile, Pliva's executives and shareholders can sit back and enjoy the battle. The initial Actavis offer was $1.6 billion, but Barr offered $2.2 billion in June. After Actavis raised its offer to $2.3 billion, Barr also bid $2.3 billion.
The winner of the Pliva contest will create the world's third-largest generic-drug company behind
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
and the Sandoz unit of
Barr's $2.3 billion bid was approved by Croatian regulators on Aug. 18, starting a 30-day countdown for Barr's tender offer, in which Barr needed to buy more than 50% of Pliva's shares.
On Sept. 4, Actavis upped the ante to $2.5 billion, a bid that Pliva's board of supervisors says is a "fair value" for the company. Actavis says it controls 20.8% of Pliva through direct stock ownership and options to buy shares.
If Croatian regulators approve Barr's amended proposal, the tender-offer deadline will be extended to Oct. 11, Downey said.
Recently, Barr's stock was down 30 cents to $53.23.