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Allergan seeks deal with Salix to fend off Valeant: WSJ

(Reuters) - Botox maker Allergan Inc has approached Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd and at least one other company about a potential takeover in a bid to avert the $53 billion hostile takeover from Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, the Wall Street Journal said.

Allergan and Salix declined to comment on the matter.

Shares of Salix, which itself is in the process of merging with a unit of Swiss-listed Cosmo Pharmaceuticals, jumped about 10 percent on Tuesday.

It isn't clear where any talks with Salix stand, but one of the sources said Allergan could strike a takeover deal with the company or another unknown party as early as next month, Journal said. (http://on.wsj.com/Xy8EJx)

Raleigh, North Carolina-based Salix makes products used to prevent or treat gastrointestinal disorders. So far, it has generated sales of $766.4 million this year.

Cosmo said in July it would merge its Irish subsidiary with Salix, another example of overseas deal-making by U.S. companies seeking to lower their tax bill by shifting tax domiciles abroad.

William Ackman's hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital Management, which owns nearly 10 percent of Allergan, worked with Valeant to put together the takeover deal unveiled in April.

(Reporting by Natalie Grover and Amrutha Penumudi in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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