Watson May Cut $7B Generics Deal For Actavis: Report

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Watson Pharmaceuticals ( WPI) is in talks to buy Swiss generic drug maker Actavis for roughly $7 billion, according to reports published by Reuters.

For Watson Pharmaceuticals, a top global maker of generic drugs, the acquisition is expected to cost up to 5.5 billion euros or $7.3 billion, in a move that would roughly double its sales. The reports cite three unnamed sources "familiar with the matter."

Watson Pharmaceuticals rose morethan 6% to $62.15 on news of the report. The Parsippany, N.J.-based company has seen its shares rise just 2% year to date, lagging the pharmaceuticals sector and broader markets.

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Actavis was taken private in a 2007 leveraged buyout by Icelandic tycoon Bjorgolfur Thor Bjorgolfsson. Since then, Reuters reported that the company has been the target of continued consolidation in the generic drugs sector, or an initial public offering.

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York