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Irvine-based Allergan Inc. should “make the best possible deal” with Canada’s Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. or identify a “superior transaction with another company,” activist investor Bill Ackman said Monday.

The comments came in a letter sent to Michael Gallagher, Allergan’s lead independent director.

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Valeant, which has OC roots, has an unsolicited $45.7 billion bid on the table for the maker of Botox and other drugs. Ackman suggested in his letter that Valeant could reduce that bid if Allergan management doesn’t engage “and no alternative suitor emerges.”

Bloomberg recently reported that Allergan contacted New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson and France-headquartered Sanofi SA to see if they would be interested in buying it. Allergan has also been mentioned as a potential buyer of Ireland’s Shire PLC.

Allergan shares were flat in late afternoon trading to a market value of $50.6 billion.