Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is reportedly looking to lay off up to 1,500 people and most of the jobs are expected to go at recently-acquired Cephalon.

The drugmaker is not giving any details regarding numbers but the Globes newspaper says 1,000 employees will be fired. The Israeli news service Ynetnews puts the figure at 1,500 and most of those will be staff in Europe and the USA who work for Cephalon, purchased last month for $6.8 billion.

Many of the posts are expected to go at Mepha, Cephalon's generics unit based in Switzerland. Teva has previously said it is aiming at synergies of $500 million following the Cephalon deal, and $120-$150 million of that will be achieved by taking out duplicate operations.

Teva contacted PharmaTimes World News and noted that "it is far too early to predict whether there will be job losses at any of the sites acquired by Teva as part of the Cephalon purchase", adding that "we do not think that this uninformed speculation is helpful". The company stated that "if we make any changes to the way we work at any of the sites acquired, our first priority will be to keep our employees fully informed at all times".

Rumours of the job cuts comes after Teva completed a $5 billion debt offering. The proceeds will be used to repay $3.75 billion of short-term debt used to finance the Cephalon acquisition.