UPDATE 3-AstraZeneca to buy Actavis lung drugs as earnings fall short

Thu Feb 5, 2015 6:35am EST
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* Paying Actavis initial $600 mln for N.American lung drugs

* Deal builds on last year's purchase of Almirall drugs

* 2015 core EPS seen growing by low single-digit percent

* Q4 sales $6.68 bln vs consensus $6.79 bln

* Q4 core EPS 76 cents vs consensus 82 cents (Adds further CEO comments on deals, Breakingviews link)

By Ben Hirschler

LONDON, Feb 5 (Reuters) - AstraZeneca said on Thursday it would buy Actavis' branded respiratory drug business in the United States and Canada for an initial $600 million as it reported disappointing fourth-quarter earnings.

AstraZeneca, which is seeking such deals to drive growth, will also pay another $100 million after Actavis agreed to changes in ongoing collaborations between the two firms.

Britain's second-biggest drugmaker said 2015 sales would decline by a mid single-digit percent at constant exchange rates.   Continued...