Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has confirmed that it will acquire Germany’s ratiopharm Group International, the sixth-largest generic drug company in the world, in a move that will see the company establish significant presence in the European generics market.

Teva won out over Actavis Group and US pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer to buy Ratiopharma in a deal expected to be worth around $5bn.

Teva’s president and chief executive officer Shlomo Yanai said that this was an important acquisition.

“Ratiopharm will provide us with acess to key European markets, most notably in Germany, as well as rapidly growing generic markets such as Spain, Italy and France,” Yanai said.

The acquisition will position Teva as the leading generic pharmaceutical company in Europe, with the company expecting to see European business from sales of $3.3bn in 2009 to joint pro forma sales of $5.2bn.

Ratiopharm’s portfolio includes 500 molecules in over 10,000 presentation forms covering all major therapeutic areas including biosimilars, marketed in over 26 countries.

The deal will allow Teva to dominate the market in Germany, as well as hold the lead market position in key markets such as the UK, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands, and help the company achieve a top three ranking in 17 countries, including Germany, Poland, France and the Czech Republic.

Ratiopharm reported worldwide revenues of $1.6bn in 2009. The combined entity will have 40,000 employees worldwide, of which 18,000 will be based in Europe.