The drugmakers Actavis Inc. and Warner Chilcott PLC say they are holding early discussions about a possible combination of the two companies.

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The companies say there is no guarantee that Actavis will make an offer for Warner Chilcott.

Actavis expects to generate more than $8.1 billion in revenue this year while Warner Chilcott expects raise about $2.3 billion to $2.4 billion.

Actavis was formed in October through a $5.6 billion combination of Watson Pharmaceuticals of New Jersey and Actavis of Switzerland. It is one of the world's biggest generic drug companies.

Warner Chilcott is based in Ireland and sells the ulcerative colitis drugs Asacol and Delzicol, osteoporosis drug Actonel, and several oral contraceptives.

Warner Chilcott shares rose 22 percent in afternoon trading after the disclosure of the talks. Actavis is up more than 11 percent.

 

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