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MORRISTOWN, NJ-Unlike so many of the mergers within its bedrock pharmaceutical base, Watson Pharmaceutical Inc.’s planned acquisition of privately held Arrow Group for nearly $1.8 billion could be good news for the state. The deal, announced yesterday, is expected to close in the second half of this year.

Watson makes its headquarters in Corona, CA. However, its commercial brand division is based here. According to Cushman & Wakefield, Watson’s occupies 52,000 square feet in the Garden State.

In recent years, the state has witnessed a steady erosion of its pharmaceutical job base and has been rocked by a series of mergers within one of its largest employment bases.

But a Watson spokesperson told GlobeSt.com that the merger would have no impact on its local presence. She added that a small US-based Arrow sales office would probably be folded into Watson’s Morristown office.

The boards of both companies have approved the transaction. Watson expects the merger will be accretive to cash earnings per share in 2010. Once finalized, the combination of the two firms is expected to result in a global pharmaceutical company with over $3 billion in revenue, commercial operations in over 20 countries and a larger product portfolio and pipeline. Tony Tabatznik, founder and CEO of Arrow, will join Watson’s board of directors as a non-employee director after the deal closes.

“The acquisition of Arrow will mark a significant milestone in realizing our strategic vision to expand our global footprint and leverage our assets across many developed and emerging markets around the world,” says Paul Bisaro, president and CEO of Watson, in a statement. “The combined company will have a global infrastructure and a strong product portfolio and pipeline that create significant opportunities for long-term growth. Additionally, Arrow’s manufacturing network, including facilities in Canada, Malta and Brazil, will further expand Watson’s global supply chain.”

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