Perrigo to buy fellow drugmaker Omega Pharma in deal valued at about $3.1 billion

MarketsAssociated Press

Perrigo is expanding its reach into Europe through the acquisition of one of the continent's biggest suppliers of non-prescription medicines in a deal valued at about $3.1 billion.

Perrigo Co. Plc said Thursday that it will pay a combination of cash and stock to acquire Belgium's Omega Pharma NV. The deal is worth about 3.58 billion euros, or $4.48 billion, when counting debt.

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Perrigo says the deal accelerates its international growth and diversifies its business. The company moved its headquarters to Dublin from Michigan after agreeing last year to buy Irish drugmaker Elan for $8.6 billion. Perrigo also makes non-prescription or over-the-counter medications.

Shares of Perrigo are slipping in premarket trading.