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Novartis says has no intention of buying Actavis

A Novartis logo is pictured on its headquarters building in Mumbai April 1, 2013. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash
A Novartis logo is pictured on its headquarters building in Mumbai April 1, 2013. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

ZURICH (Reuters) - Novartis has no plans to bid for U.S.-based generic drugmaker Actavis, which is the subject of intense takeover speculation, a spokesman for the Swiss drugmaker said on Thursday.

"We have no intention to pursue them," spokesman Eric Althoff said in response to inquiries.

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that Novartis - which operates a large generics business called Sandoz - was considering whether to enter the fray, after Actavis rebuffed separate takeover offers from Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc and Mylan Inc.

(Reporting by Caroline Copley and Ben Hirschler)

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