Teva Sells Slate of Women's Health Products in Debt-Reducing Moves

By Ezequiel Minaya Features Dow Jones Newswires

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., the world's biggest seller of generic drugs, said Monday it will sell the remaining assets in its specialty global women's health business for $1.38 billion, the company's latest move to grapple with high debt.

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The company has been selling off noncore assets in a bid to pay down some $35 billion in debt.

Teva said Monday it has entered into an agreement with CVC Capital Partners to sell it a portfolio of contraception, fertility, menopause and osteoporosis products for $703 million in cash. In addition, Teva has entered an agreement under which Foundation Consumer Healthcare, owned by affiliates of Juggernaut Capital Partners and Kelso & Co., will pay $675 million in cash for Teva's Plan B One-Step and other brands of emergency contraception.

Last week, Teva announced it had sold its Paragard contraceptive-device business to Cooper Cos. for $1.1 billion.

The sales "demonstrate Teva's commitment to delivering on our promise to generate net proceeds of at least $2 billion from the divestiture of noncore assets," said Yitzhak Peterburg, Teva's interim CEO.

Like other generic drugmakers, Teva faces tough price competition that is squeezing profit margins. It also owes about $35 billion, much of it from last year's acquisition of Allergan PLC's generics unit for $40.5 billion, Teva's biggest-ever deal.

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Last week, Teva appointed Kare Schultz, a nearly 30-year pharmaceutical industry veteran, as the company's new chief executive. The company hasn't yet said when Mr. Schultz will assume his post.

Teva has searched since February for a new chief executive to fill the shoes of longtime leader Eli Hurvitz, who is credited with turning the company from a small-time pharmaceutical firm into a global generics drugs seller.

Mr. Hurvitz was chief executive for more than 25 years and involved in Teva until his death in 2011. Since then, the firm has gone through a series of chief executives that have struggled to manage global expansion.

The Israeli drugmaker in August posted disappointing second-quarter results, cut its full-year outlook and slashed its dividend, blaming the rapid deterioration of its U.S. generic-drug business. Teva took a $6.1 billion write-down on that unit and posted a quarterly net loss of $6.04 billion.

Rory Jones contributed to this article

Write to Ezequiel Minaya at ezequiel.minaya@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 18, 2017 10:43 ET (14:43 GMT)