Israeli company Teva Pharmaceutical Industries completed its $7.4 billion acquisition of US firm Ivax yesterday, overtaking Sandoz to become the world’s biggest generics company.

The combined company, which will operate under the Teva name, will have annual sales in the region of $7 billion and the merger is expected to become accretive to earnings by the end of the first year.

Teva said it would report consolidated financial results for the new entity in its first quarter 2006 results statement, and would deliver its outlook guidance for the remainder of the year at the same time.

Teva is estimated to hold 12.8% of the global market for generics, a head of Novartis subsidiary Sandoz with a little over 11%. Germany’s Merck KGaA lies in third place with 5% of the market, with Iceland’s Actavis advancing into fourth spot with 3.9% thanks to a string of acquisitions, including the generics business of US drugmaker Alpharma in December 2005.