Icahn targets Forest Labs

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The billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn has taken a 6.5 per cent stake in the US drug-maker Forest Laboratories while Forest deals with steep revenue declines as its biggest product comes off patent next year. Mr Icahn has been instrumental in several shake-ups in the healthcare industry recently, obtaining seats on the board at biotech Biogen Idec and weighing in on the $20bn sale of Genzyme to France's Sanofi.

While Mr Icahn pushed Biogen to put itself up for sale and was successful with Genzyme, Forest, which has a market value of $11bn, may not be as enticing a takeover target. Motivated buyers could be European or Japanese drug-makers looking for access to Forest's US sales and marketing infrastructure, analysts said.