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BMS to acquire Celgene for $74 billion in biggest-ever pharma deal

Published on 04/01/19 at 10:22am

Starting off 2019 with a bang, Bristol-Myers Squibb has announced its intention to acquire fellow drugmaker Celgene as part of an agreement which, valued at approximately $74 billion, would be the largest pharmaceutical deal ever, eclipsing Bayer and Monsanto’s $63 billion merger in 2016.   

Revealing the move, BMS said the deal would seek to create “a leading focused specialty biopharma company well positioned to address the needs of patients with cancer, inflammatory and immunologic disease and cardiovascular disease”. Between them, the two companies will have nine products generating more than $1 billion in annual sales, as well as six expected near-term product launches which are projected to make over $15 billion in revenue.

As part of the deal, shareholders at Celgene will receive $50 in cash for each share of the company, and one share of BMS. Additionally, Celgene shareholders will also be awarded one tradeable Contigent Value Right (CVR) for each share, entitling them to further payment on the achievement of regulatory milestones.

Boards at both companies have approved the agreement. With the completion of the deal, 69% of the new entity will be owned by BMS, while Celgene will own 31%.

“Combining with Bristol-Myers Squibb, we are delivering immediate and substantial value to Celgene shareholders and providing them meaningful participation in the long-term growth opportunities created by the combined company,” explained Mark Alles, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Celgene. “Our employees should be incredibly proud of what we have accomplished together and excited for the opportunities ahead of us as we join with Bristol-Myers Squibb, where we can further advance our mission for patients. We look forward to working with the Bristol-Myers Squibb team as we bring our two companies together.”

Dr Giovanni Caforio, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at BMS, also commented: “As a combined entity, we will enhance our leadership positions across our portfolio, including in cancer and immunology and inflammation. We will also benefit from an expanded early- and late-stage pipeline that includes six expected near-term product launches. Together, our pipeline holds significant promise for patients, allowing us to accelerate new options through a broader range of cutting-edge technologies and discovery platforms.

“We are impressed by what Celgene has accomplished for patients, and we look forward to welcoming Celgene employees to Bristol-Myers Squibb,” he continued. “Our new company will continue the strong patient focus that is core to both companies’ missions, creating a shared organisation with a goal of discovering, developing and delivering innovative medicines for patients with serious diseases. We are confident we will drive value for shareholders and create opportunities for employees.”

Matt Fellows

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