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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.

Bayer – Monsanto: $66 billion

The deal between the German drug and chemical maker and the US seeds company sealed the largest all-cash deal on record early in the year. It was widely discussed due to the impact it would have in creating a company with more than a quarter of the combined world market for seeds and pesticides. Even individuals within Bayer couldn’t restrain voicing dissent at the impact it would have on the pharmaceutical side to the business. The deal closed at whopping $66 billion but is yet to be approved – in fact, there are serious whisperings from within the industry that it may not complete at all. If it were not to complete, Bayer would be forced to pay a $2 billion break-up fee to Monsanto, not a prospect that Bayer would like to entertain at this point.

Teva – Actavis Generics: $40 billion

Teva’s acquisition of Actavis Generics, a part of the Allergan business, closed last year. The deal made Teva the largest generics company in the world. All has not been rosy since the completion of the deal, however, as Teva’s share price has been on a downward trend since the beginning of the 2016. The troubles have continued as it has been hit by several heavy fines over bribery and antitrust allegations. The deal completed at $40 billion and whether this deal will be one regarded as value for the money in the future is seriously under question.

Sanofi – Boehringer: $13.5 billion

Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim confirmed the successful completion of the exchange of Sanofi’s animal health business and Boehringer Ingelheim’s consumer healthcare business.  The completion of the deal came a full year after negotiations began in December 2015, finalising on the 1 January (but we’re sneaking it into 2016’s deals). The swap deal saw Sanofi exchange assets worth $13.5 billion. The deal makes good sense for both companies, strengthening their areas of concern. The real blow for Sanofi has come with two failed acquisitions, being pipped to the Actelion deal by Johnson & Johnson and then by Pfizer for Medivation.

Shire – Baxalta: $32 billion

This particular merger took a long time to get over the line, dragging over from 2015 into 2016. The deal saw Shire acquire the rare disease portfolio of Baxalta, and acquire a pipeline of 50 programs in clinical development. The merger allowed the biotech to become a specialist in orphan disease treatment. Shire are still prioritising successfully integrating the Baxalta business, with CEO Flemming Ornskov setting it as his key aim for 2017.

Pfizer – Allergan: $160 billion

The mega-merger that never was; it was one of the most talked about and anticipated mergers of the time, and yet all came to nought. Both companies have made major moves after the deal failed to come off, with US regulators stepping in to scupper the deal by creating new regulations seeking to hinder so-called ‘tax inversion’. Allergan, particularly, has been on an acquisition spree – acquiring five companies between August and October alone. Meanwhile Pfizer managed to snatched Medication away from Sanofi in a $14 billion deal.

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