Swiss giant, Novartis, has again extended its tender offer for the shares in US generics drugmaker Eon Labs, which it is aiming to acquire, as it does not expect to secure the regulatory green light until at least July 8.

Novartis said in a statement that the cash tender offer had therefore been extended from July 1 to July 13. The company had already extended the deadline from June 20 to July 1 [[22/06/05e]].

Completion of the tender offer is subject to Novartis’ purchase of the 67.7% stake in Eon Labs currently owned by its majority shareholder, Santo Holding. However, the Swiss firm has agreed that it will not complete the tender offer or purchase of Santo’s shares while a court hearing on shareholder litigation against the Eon purchase is pending. The hearing is set to go to court on July 8.

The takeover of Eon Labs was announced earlier this year together with Novartis’ purchase of German company, Hexal, as part of the Swiss firm’s bid to become a leader in the worldwide generics marketplace [[21/02/05b]]. Regulatory clearance in the Hexal buy has already been granted [[07/06/05e]].