The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Deals of the year: Central and Eastern Europe

Western Europe          Asia        Latin America        North America

Best M&A deal
Deal type: acquisition of Lek
Amount: e876 million
Date: October 2002
Advisers: Bank Austria (Novartis), ABN Amro (Lek)

Lek: its production capacity and
range of generic drugs means that
it fits well with Novartis's strategy

Some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies have been exiting from the generics business but Novartis has made it clear that it intends to expand its share. The world's second-biggest pharmaceuticals company believes that the patent explosion of the past five years is slowing, and that a good toehold in generics will help it to undercut rivals, particularly arch-rival GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the biggest pharmaceuticals company.

One of GSK's best-selling drugs is Augmentin, which is used to treat pneumonia and sinusitis. Revenues from this drug last year were around $2 billion. Novartis has been producing a generic version of the drug in Switzerland, but production capacity has been reached.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree