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Teva bosses issue riposte to Mylan, praise takeover plan

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries' Jerusalem oral solid dosage plant (OSD) is seen December 21, 2011. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

By Toby Sterling

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Executives at Israeli drugmaker Teva (TEVA.TA) sent an open letter to takeover target Mylan (MYL.O) on Monday, saying they remain committed to a deal and reiterated that Teva's $40 billion takeover proposal would benefit shareholders of both firms.

In the letter, addressed to Mylan executive founder Robert Coury, Teva CEO Erez Vigodman and Chairman Yitzhak Peterburg repeated that a combination would add value to both companies.

The letter said Mylan had made "made grossly incorrect statements to mislead your stockholders and other stakeholders about us".

Mylan responded later on Monday, saying Teva's statements continue to leave it and its stakeholders with "great uncertainty" regarding the Israeli drugmaker's intentions.

In a letter addressed to Vigodman, Coury asked for "straightforward" answers to two questions. (http://1.usa.gov/1BUOEhm)

The first is whether Teva was planning a legally binding exchange offer for Mylan.

The second is whether any such offer would contain a "hell or high water provision" under which Teva would agree to whatever the U.S. Federal Trade Commission requires to clear the transaction.

The letters are the latest in a series of unusually combative communications between the two companies.

Teva began an unsolicited pursuit of Mylan NV in April but has yet to make a formal offer as it awaits antitrust approval in the United States.

Coury has since sent two open letters criticising Teva as a poor fit for Mylan, most recently on June 1.

Spurning Teva's advances, Mylan has begun pursuing its own unsolicited $32.7 billion bid for Perrigo of Ireland.

Coury has previously said that Teva "has engaged in a pattern of making noncommittal, unclear, inaccurate and non specific statements to shareholders ... regarding its intentions with respect to Mylan."

Teva has built a 2.2 percent stake in Mylan ahead of making a formal offer.

Mylan has its operational headquarters in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, but is incorporated in the Netherlands.

(Additional reporting by Natalie Grover; Editing by Pravin Char, David Evans and Simon Jennings)