Report: Pfizer makes counter-offer for Ranbaxy

Pfizer may be crashing Daiichi Sankyo's party. Business Standard is reporting that Pfizer is considering a counter-offer for Ranbaxy, India's largest drugmaker. The rumor comes on the heels of the $4.6 billion offer Daiichi made just two days ago. Sources say Pfizer may "make a bid for 41.3 percent of the company from institutions and another 21.2 percent from individual shareholders." None of the companies involved have confirmed the rumors.

So why would Pfizer be interested in Ranbaxy? It turns out that there are plenty of reasons. An acquisition of Ranbaxy would give the world's largest drugmaker a big slice of the hot generic drug market. The other big reason? Lipitor. Ranbaxy is planning to launch a generic version of the $10.1 billion-a-year earner in 2010, and wouldn't it be nice for Pfizer if it could control that bit of competition? There's no word on what Ranbaxy's thoughts are on the deal. Ranbaxy says the deal is already done and that it's too late for Pfizer to make a bid, but this battle may just be getting started.

- read the WSJ report
- here's a Forbes article for more