E Shakeup At Teva Pharmaceutical And Other Global Updates

It is useful to spend some time with kids. Our New Year break included trading leg-warmers, sharing ice cream in winter, my wearing sparkling sunglasses reading "2014" which produced smiles from everyone who saw me in them (thanks Claude for your first ever bought gift to Nana), and concern about the global crisis over the Taiwanese rubber duckie. As reported on by the BBC, a 59-ft gas-filled replica of a popular bath toy was constructed in Keelung harbor for the New Year's festivities by a Dutch artist. But then it was attacked by other real birds and collapsed. Moreover this was the 3rd Taiwanese giant rubber duckie to collapse in 2013. Surely a dreadful omen, but of what?

What luck that now in a new year and no longer surrounded by the peanut gallery, I can worry about civil wars in Africa, terrorism at Indian Ocean tourist sites, explosions in the Middle East. And kick myself for not following the advice of Aquamarine Fund manager Guy Spier (based in Switzerland) to buy Fiat.

Real issues rather than rubber duckies. It is much more pleasant to be a grandmother and focus on the kids but I would be bored if I didn't do something else most of the time. More follows for paid subscribers from Jordan, Israel, Ireland, Canada, Mongolia, and more.

*We last week told readers (based on a Globes Israel report) that Teva was expected to name Erez Vigodman as its new CEO to replace Dr Jeremy Levin fired 18 months into his tenure after being expensively head-hunted. Dr Levin's nemesis was Teva Chairman Dr Phillip Frost, an American serial drug entrepreneur. Earlier this week The Financial Times reported that Israeli entrepreneur Benny Landa has called not only for naming Vigodman to head the company, but also for "shaking up" the TEVA board, believed by the pink newspaper to mean getting rid of Dr Frost.

Separately, today Bloomberg reports that Jazz Pharma (of Ireland) is a likely target for takeover by, among others, Teva, the more so now that it has acquired Gentium. Turn-around artist Vigodman at Makhteshim Agan, a chemical firm, and later at Strauss (a food firm) was known for acquisitions. He also supported some excessive M&A policies when he sat on Teva's board before the Frost era, but he has no drug industry credentials.

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