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Actavis PLC, the world's second-largest generic-drugmaker by market value, agreed to buy Forest Laboratories Inc. for about $25 billion in a deal that will transform it into a developer of brand-name drugs.The deal is a win for billionaire investor Carl Icahn, Forest's second-largest holder who gained seats on the company's board in 2012 and 2013, and pushed for a sale. The deal is Actavis' biggest ever. The acquisition will change Actavis' mix of sales, provide the combined drugmaker with more than $1 billion in cost savings, and bring Forest's brand-name products to more markets.Forest, based in New York, climbed 29 percent to $92.13 .With a purchase of Forest, Actavis will add the Alzheimer's drug Namenda and blood-pressure pill Bystolic to its product lineup.Actavis was formerly known as Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. The company in 2012 acquired Zug, Switzerland-based Actavis and took on the Actavis name.Greenhill & Co. advised Actavis, while JPMorgan Chase & Co. advised Forest. Forest is an "excellent" takeover candidate for a larger pharmaceutical company and might get a "huge premium" thanks to its pipeline of drugs, Icahn said in August 2012 .
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