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King Pharmaceuticals

( KG) on Friday made a $1.4 billion bid for



, the latest in a pharma sector shopping spree this summer.

Bristol, Tenn.-based King said it has offered to buy Alpharma for $33 a share in cash. King said that Alpharma's board rejected the offer. However, King CEO Brian Markison said in a letter to Alpharma CEO Dean Mitchell, that if they are unable to negotiate a transaction, King is ready to bring it before Alpharma's shareholders directly.

Alpharma shares soared $10.43, or 43.4%, to $34.47, while King shares added 85 cents, or 7.6%, to $12.09.

The proposal follows






( DNA) and

Bristol Myers'


$60 a share






King's proposal represents a 37% premium over Alpharma's closing price Aug. 21, the day before it was announced, and a 49% premium to the closing price on Aug. 4, the day of the initial written offer. King said the offer price implies an equity value of $1.4 billion, and an enterprise value of about $1.2 billion.

"The transaction would create a diversified specialty pharmaceutical company with greater commercialization capabilities, an expanded portfolio of pain management products and a strengthened pipeline which would include multiple platform technologies," wrote King in a release on Friday.