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Frank Baldino

Valeant seeks to buy Cephalon for $5.7 billion

By Bill BerkrotNEW YORK (Reuters) - Canadian drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International <VRX.N><VRX.TO> said it made an unsolicited $5.7 billion bid to buy Cephalon Inc <CEPH.O> and plans to make its case directly to Cephalon shareholders.Valeant, formed when Canada's Biovail bought U.S.-based Valeant in September for $3.3 billion and took its name, said it planned to propose a slate of directors to replace Cephalon's board with its own nominees.The $73-a-share bid, which Valeant expects to finance entirely with debt, represents a 24 percent premium over Cephalon's closing share price of $58.75 on Tuesday, and about a 29 percent premium over the U.S. drugmaker's 30-day trading average.Valeant Chief Executive Michael Pearson said Cephalon in meetings between the companies signaled a belief that its shareholders would not find the Valeant offer compelling. But he plans to talk to Cephalon shareholders directly beginning next week."We'd love to do this on a friendly basis and if we g...

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