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2015's top five mergers and acquisitions in a record-breaking year

Published on 19/10/15 at 02:19pm
The takeover of Allergan by Teva is the top pharma M&A deal so far in 2015

A new report from analysts MergerMarket reveals that mergers and acquisitions so far in 2015 have surpassed the same 2014 period in value for the pharma healthcare industry.

M&A activity in global pharma, medical and biotech in 2015 reached 954 transactions, worth $367.6 billion. Although this is a lower number of transactions compared to the 980 seen in the same period in 2014, the total value increased by 46.2%, from $251.5bn, driven largely by a surge of M&A activity within the pharma sub-sector

At 372 deals, worth US$ 271.4bn, the US is the main source of merger activity, with four out of the top five deals worth $ 127.9bn to acquire US targets. The US took a 73.8% share in global deal value targeting the sector during 2015, up from 60.6% for the same period in 2014.

The top ongoing and concluded deals are as follows:

5. Shire-Baxalta, $17.9bn

The chances of a successful conclusion to this long and fraught pursuit seem increasingly remote following the recent FDA rejection of Shire’s new eye drug lifitegrast. The setback will likely further hit Shire share prices, which have already shed a fifth of their value since Shire’s initial bid in the summer. Speculation is mounting that the Irish company will now turn its attention to a cheaper alternative, potentially Radius Health.

4. Abbvie-Pharmacyclics, $19.0bn

Abbvie made a successful play to strengthen its oncological arm with its pursuit of California-based Pharmacyclics, and its drug Imbruvica (ibrutinib) BTK-inhibitor for blood cancers. Abbvie now operates the company as a subsidiary, and markets Imbruvica in the US.

3. Mylan-Perrigo, $35.0bn

Mylan remains confident of a positive outcome in its hostile approach for the Irish cold remedy manufacturer, despite Perrigo rejecting the offer, which it considered low. Mylan took the offer directly to Perrigo shareholders, and the battle over the deal has turned increasingly ugly, with the companies trading lawsuits in the US and Israel in order to conclude or block the takeover respectively. Time will tell as to the outcome.

2. Teva-Allergan, $40.5bn

While Mylan may have been the aggressor in the previous entry, it found itself fending off unwanted interest from Israel-based Teva, which sought to purchase its generics unit for $40 billion. After months of unsuccessful courtship and rejected bids, Teva turned its attentions to Allergan, which it found much more receptive, with a deal concluded in July. Analysts say Teva strengthened its generics business while improving its distribution channels and gaining profitable injectables.  

1.  Anthem-Signa Corporation, $50.5bn

Another summer deal, and the number one of 2015 so far, saw Anthem tie up a $50 billion deal for fellow health insurer Signa, gaining an additional 14 million customers in the US (as well as some regulatory headaches).

UPDATE: Pfizer's $160 billion takeover of Allergan has since dwarfed the previous number one, in fact falling just $2.9 billion short of the prior top five list combined.

Joel Levy

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