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Transactions in the pharma sector: Through the EU merger review looking-glass

Published on 31/10/19 at 02:53pm

With mergers and acquisitions back in full swing after a period of drought, Alec Burnside (Partner) and Delphine Strohl (Associate) of global law firm Dechert review and evaluate investigations of M&A activity to determine what this reveals about the industry as it moves forward.

“At least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.” – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.

Pfizer to combine off-patent drug unit Upjohn with Mylan

Pfizer’s off-patent drug unit Upjohn is combining with Mylan to create a new global pharmaceutical company focused on the low-price drug market.

The boards of both Pfizer and Mylan have unanimously approved the deal, which will see Pfizer shareholders own 57% of the yet-to-be-named firm. Shareholders in EpiPen creator Mylan will own the remaining 43% of the newly formed firm.

$400 billion in healthcare M&A deals expected for 2019

The coming year is set to see mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare sector worth more than $400 billion, according to multinational law firm Baker McKenzie.

While political uncertainty and new regulation led to a 5% drop in merger activity in 2018, M&A activity is anticipated to increase in 2019 from $308 billion last year to $400 billion in the year to come.

Asian and American companies are expected to be the biggest buyers this year, as Japanese firm Takeda’s $62 billion acquisition of Shire is expected to close on Tuesday.

Novartis denies potential split with Sandoz

Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger has reported that Novartis is preparing for a split with long-term partner Sandoz. The two companies merged in 1996.

“Sandoz will be split off, that is the informal information that we have gotten,” a Tages-Anzeiger employee said to Reuters. The Swiss newspaper had previously reported that Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan had planned to split Sandoz off from the rest of the company.

However Novartis have firmly denied the potential for a split having called the newspaper’s report “speculation”.

Five most talked about mergers and acquisitions of 2016

Published on 27/01/17 at 12:55pm

2017 has kicked off with a bang – as Johnson & Johnson confirmed a $30 billion deal to takeover of Actelion, swiftly followed by Celgene announcing that it was poised to acquire Delinia in a $775 million deal. As a result, we thought we’d take a look at some of the largest deals of last year that changed the face of the pharmaceutical industry.

MSD to acquire Scottish firm IOmet Pharma

MSD logo

US pharma company MSD is to buy Edinburgh based IOMet Pharma to expand its existing R&D programme, exploring the development of new immuno-oncology treatments for cancer.

Financial terms for the deal have not been made public, but IOMet is known to focus on the development of innovative medicines for the treatment of cancer, with a particular emphasis on the fields of cancer immunotherapy and cancer metabolism. The firm was established in 2008, and has shareholders including the Scottish Investment Bank.

Shire and Baxalta reach $32 billion merger agreement


One of the industry’s longest-running M&A sagas has finally reached a conclusion, with Shire and Baxalta announcing a $32 billion cash and stock merger agreement. 

Under the agreement Baxalta shareholders will receive $18.00 in cash, valuing Baxalta at $45.57 per share –  meaning Shire is paying a premium of some 37.5% on Baxalta’s share price as it stood at the time of Shire’s initial, rejected, offer in August 2015.

AstraZeneca to buy majority share in Acerta Pharma

AZ sign
AZ chief executive Pascal Soriot says the deal reflects the company's move to targeted business development

Following several days of speculation, AstraZeneca has announced that it has agreed a deal to buy Acerta Pharma, a developer of cancer drugs, for up to $7 billion.

AstraZeneca had earlier confirmed it was ‘exploring potential strategic options with Averta’ and has now agreed a final deal. The package will see AstraZeneca acquire 55% ownership of Acerta for an initial $4 billion in cash – with $2.5 billion to be paid at closing and $1.5 billion due before December 2018.

Mirror. Signal. Merger. How to deal with a pharma takeover

Published on 14/12/15 at 10:29am

So 2015 has been a record year for M&A in the pharma industry.

The Financial Times has called this “the most vigorous period of M&A among drug makers since the turn of the century”. And, as if to emphasise the point, Pfizer have just completed the staggeringly large $160 billion takeover of Allergan, the maker of Botox.

AstraZeneca in $5bn Acerta buyout talks

AZ building

AstraZeneca has confirmed it is in negotiations to buy cancer drug developer Acerta Pharma BV for more than $5 billion (£3 billion).

AstraZeneca has confirmed it is in negotiations to buy cancer drug developer Acerta Pharma BV for more than $5 billion (£3 billion).

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