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Mylan Shareholder Supports Irish Company Takeover

The Gilmer Free Press

MORGANTOWN, WV — Mylan leaders will head into their next shareholder meeting with a major endorsement to move forward with plans to purchase Irish drug maker Perrigo.

Abbott Laboratories owns 14.5% of Mylan’s outstanding shares. That is more than any other stakeholder for the generic drug manufacturer with a production plant in Morgantown.

Abbott publicly announced support of the attempted hostile takeover of Perrigo.

The company develops a number of healthcare technologies and products.

“As both Mylan’s largest shareholder and its partner through our continued manufacturing relationships, Abbot has considered the entire situation and we believe Mylan’s standalone strategy and acquisition of Perrigo will further enhance its platform, is strategically compelling, value enhancing for shareholders and offers a clear path to completion,” said Miles D. White, chairman and chief executive officer with Abbot.

In a follow up statement, Mylan Executive Chairman Robert J. Coury said, “We are grateful for Abbott’s support for our long-term returns in this rapidly evolving industry and will promote the sustainable success of Mylan’s business.”

In April, Perrigo reportedly rejected an increased offer from Mylan to acquire the company.

Perrigo officials had said an initial $28.9 billion dollar offer was a low ball offer. Mylan later increased the offer to $33 billion.

Wall Street Up with Eyes on Greece, Fed; M&A Supports

The Gilmer Free Press

U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday following back-to-back daily declines, with merger activity more than offsetting market concerns as Greece struggles to avoid a default on its debt.

Traders also kept an eye on interest rates as a two-day policy-setting meeting at the Federal Reserve got under way.

Despite the collapse of talks between Athens and its European and IMF lenders over the weekend, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew that Athens aimed to reach a deal. Lew said failure to reach an agreement would create broad uncertainties for the global economy.

“The market seems to be pricing in a possibility, overpricing, a Greece exit,“ said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York.

He said he does not expect a surprise to the market from the Fed in terms of a rate hike, or from a Greek default.

“Financials have been leading and dividend payers have sold off. That trade probably unwinds if there is a surprise,“ he said.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 113.31 points, or 0.64%, to 17,904.48, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 11.86 points, or 0.57%, to 2,096.29 and the NASDAQ Composite .IXIC added 25.58 points, or 0.51%, to 5,055.55.

Stocks had opened lower but quickly turned higher and drifted up throughout the day to close near the session’s high.

Consumer staples lead the way up, with Coty (COTY.N) shares at a record, closing up 19.3% at $31.08. Coty is on track to buy Procter & Gamble’s (PG.N) beauty business in a $12 billion deal. P&G shares closed up 1.3% at $79.10.

In other merger news, shares of NCR Corp (NCR.N) hit a 14-month high of $36.50. Reuters reported Blackstone (BX.N) and Carlyle (CG.O) are making a joint bid for NCR in what would be the year’s biggest leveraged buyout at more than $10 billion, including debt. NCR closed up 10.7% at $34.73 while Blackstone fell 0.6% to $41.98 and Carlyle rose 0.8% to $28.41.

The chance that the Fed Wednesday will give more clarity on the timing of its expected rate hike was seen as a catalyst for more takeover deals.

“Rising rates could be a trigger for even more M&A activity,“ said Brian Jacobsen, chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.

“They are a signal that now’s the time to get the deals done if you are going to do them with cheap financing.“

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,946 to 1,104, for a 1.76-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the NASDAQ, 1,635 issues rose and 1,158 fell for a 1.41-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.

The benchmark S&P 500 index posted 8 new 52-week highs and 4 new lows while on the NASDAQ Composite there were 138 new highs and 37 new lows.

About 5.5 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, below the 5.98 billion daily average so far this month, according to BATS Global Markets.

Stocks Fell on Wall Street

The Gilmer Free Press

Stocks fell on Wall Street on Monday as investors fretted over the consequences of a possible debt default by Greece, but talk of multi-billion dollar healthcare deals buoyed shares in the sector, cutting into the market’s loss.

After Sunday’s breakdown of the cash-for-reform talks between Athens and its creditors, Greece has two weeks before facing a 1.6 billion euro repayment due to the International Monetary Fund that could leave it out of cash. On Monday, positions among negotiators hardened.

Indexes had opened sharply lower on the Greek developments but cut losses through most of the session.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 107.67 points, or 0.6%, to 17,791.17, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 9.68 points, or 0.46%, to 2,084.43 and the NASDAQ Composite .IXIC dropped 21.13 points, or 0.42%, to 5,029.97.

HEALTHCARE LENDS SUPPORT

Cigna (CI.N) shares jumped as much as 19.4% to a record high of $164, buoying the health sector, after the Wall Street Journal reported Cigna rebuffed a takeover offer from rival Anthem Inc (ANTM.N) that valued it at about $45 billion. Cigna closed up 11.7% to $153.43.

The WSJ story said UnitedHealth (UNH.N) could be also eyeing deals with Cigna or Aetna (AET.N). UnitedHealth shares rose 1.1% to $118.98 and Aetna added 4.4% to $121.01. Humana (HUM.N) previously seen as a target from Cigna, fell 2.8% to $206.58.

A deal that was announced involved drugstore operator CVS Health Corp (CVS.N) buying Target’s (TGT.N) pharmacies and clinics. The $1.9 billion deal should help CVS bargain with drugmakers for lower prices. CVS shares edged up 0.4% to $102.58 while Target gained 1.2% to $80.45.

Shares of United Technologies (UTX.N) weighed the most on the Dow Industrials, down 2.5% at $114.61. It said it is exiting the helicopter business and would decide whether to spin off or sell its $8 billion Sikorsky unit, the U.S. military’s largest helicopter maker.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,983 to 1,075, for a 1.84-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the NASDAQ, 1,639 issues fell and 1,149 advanced for a 1.43-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 5 new 52-week highs and 12 new lows; the NASDAQ Composite 98 new highs and 55 new lows.

About 5.84 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, below the 5.98 billion daily average so far this month, according to BATS Global Markets.

Teva Assures Mylan That Morgantown Plant Will Remain Open

The Gilmer Free Press

MORGANTOWN, WV — Mylan N.V.’s Morgantown plant will continue to operate if Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd. acquires the company, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Business Times.

The Morgantown facility sits on 23 acres near West Virginia University. Five years after the company was founded, Morgantown became its home in 1965.

Teva’s assurance was sent in a letter to Mylan executive chairman Robert Coury and stated Teva is “constantly exploring opportunities and implementing strategies to better serve its patients, customers and employees.”

Teva is continuing to try to acquire Mylan for $40 billion. On June 04, Teva increased ownership of Mylan from 1.8% to 2.2%, accumulating approximately 10.5 million shares in the company.

No mention was made in Teva’s letter about Mylan’s center in Southpointe, which opened in 2013 and employs 700.

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