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Pfizer buying Hospira for about $15.23 billion

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has agreed to buy Lake Forest-based Hospira for about $15.23 billion, saying the Illinois drugmaker will enhance the company's product portfolio in emerging markets.

Pfizer said in a joint release with Hospira that it will pay $90 per share in cash, a 39 percent premium to Hospira's Wednesday closing price of $64.80. The companies said the deal's enterprise is $17 billion.

Hospira has been known for its production of injectable drugs and infusion technologies.

The company is also a pioneer in biosimilars, generic forms of existing biotechnology treatments made from living cells. The company has provided biosimilars to patients in Europe and Australia for several years and recently submitted its first biologics application to the Food and Drug Administration for a drug that treats anemia, Retacrit.

Hospira's most recent quarterly earnings saw profits skyrocket due to the sale of its clinical surveillance software business, TheraDoc. Net income rose to $158.6 million, or 92 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30 from $1.9 million, or 1 cent per share, a year earlier. The TheraDoc sale brought in $106.3 million.

Pfizer, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical and health care products companies, said it plans to help Hospira increase its footprint in Europe and emerging markets. Hospira's products are currently mostly distributed in the U.S.

The New York-based company plans to finance the deal through a combination of cash — about two-thirds of the transaction — and new debt for the remainder. It expects the acquisition to save the company $800 million a year by 2018.

The deal should add 10 cents to 12 cents per share to earnings in the year after it closes. Both companies' boards unanimously approved the transaction, which will need approval from shareholders and regulators. The acquisition is expected to close later this year.

Associated Press contributed to this report

ehirst@tribpub.com

Twitter @ellenjeanhirst

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