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Mylan to buy Abbott's branded generic-drug businesses outside US for $5.3B in stock

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PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The generic drugmaker Mylan is buying Abbott Laboratories' generic-drugs business in developed markets for stock valued at about $5.3 billion.

Mylan said Monday that the deal will diversify and expand its business outside the U.S. The combined company will be organized in the Netherlands, which will help reduce its tax expenses. The company will keep its headquarters near Pittsburgh.

The deal is expected to lower Mylan's tax rate to approximately 20 per cent to 21 per cent in the first full year, and to the high teens after that.

Several other U.S. companies are using mergers to reincorporate in countries with lower tax rates. These moves are raising concerns among U.S. lawmakers because they can cost the federal government billions in tax revenue.

The business to be acquired by Mylan encompasses more than 100 generic and specialty drugs sold in Europe, Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Some of the products include Creon, Influvac, Brufen, Amitiza and Androgel. It also include manufacturing plants in France and Japan.

The portfolio of products accounted for about $2 billion in sales last year.

Abbott is keeping its branded generic drug business in emerging markets. That business had 2013 sales of $2.9 billion. It is also keeping its other businesses and products in developed markets.

Abbott will own about 21 per cent of the combined Mylan company — which will be called Mylan NV — but does not intend to remain a long-term shareholder. Shares of Mylan NV will trade on the Nasdaq under Mylan's existing ticker symbol, "MYL."

The transaction is expected to about double Mylan's revenue in Europe by strengthening its presence in countries such as Italy, the U.K., Germany, France, Spain and Portugal. It also is expected to more than double Mylan's revenue in Canada and Japan, and strengthen its business in Australia and New Zealand. The deal also gives Mylan a meaningful presence in the specialty and branded generics market in Central and Eastern Europe.

The deal is expected to close in early 2015. It is expected to immediately add to Mylan's earnings, to the tune of about 25 cents per share in adjusted earnings in the first year, increasing through 2018.

Mylan Inc. is based in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.

Mylan's stock added $2.10, or 4.2 per cent, to $52.30 in premarket trading, while shares of Abbott gained 94 cents, or 2.3 per cent, to $42.24 .

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