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Richter in talks to buy up Israel's Taro

Israel's Taro Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. is in talks to be bought out by Hungary's leading drug company Richter Gedeon Nyrt, Reuters cited the Yedioth Ahronoth daily as reporting on Sunday. Yedioth said Taro had asked Merril Lynch to find a buyer, and that Richter, with a market cap of around $ 4 billion, is the more likely of two potential Hungarian buyers. Reuters said it could not reach Taro officials for comment. "Buying Taro would not boost Richter's standing in the profitable CIS and CEE markets (90% of sales are in North America) and so dilute the value of the franchise," Bram Buring of Wood & Co. has commented on Monday. The market capitalisation of Taro is $ 400 million. The consensus of five analysts indicates $ 295 million revenues and $ 17.5 million for Taro for this year. Based on analysts' expectations Taro's PE-based pricing is 22.6 for 2006 and 18.3 for next year. (Portfolio.hu)