Actavis Confirms Merger Talks With Warner Chilcott

It's official -- sort of.

On Friday, shares of branded pharmaceutical manufacturer Warner Chilcott (UNKNOWN: WCRX.DL  ) jumped 20% in response to rumors that the company was in talks to sell itself to larger rival Actavis (NYSE: AGN  ) . Warner also reported steady earnings, where a decline had been expected, and reiterated full-year guidance.

The companies initially declined to comment on the speculation, but toward the end of the trading day, Actavis finally broke the silence, confirming that it "has entered into early-stage discussions with Warner Chilcott plc regarding a potential combination of the two companies." No agreement has been reached, however, and Actavis said it will say nothing further, beyond confirming that the talks are in progress.

That fact alone seems to be making investors happy, however. But close of trading, Warner's shares were still up 20% at $18.01, and Actavis was up more than 12% itself, trading at $119.86.

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