AbbVie nears deal to buy Allergan for more than $60 billion

25 Juin, 2019, 20:24 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • AbbVie to buy Botox-maker Allergan in $63 billion deal

AbbVie has been looking for ways to reinvigorate its pipeline of experimental drugs as Humira, the best-selling medicine in the world, faces competition from cheaper biosimilars.

Humira, which brought in revenue of about $20 billion last year, reported the first fall in quarterly sales in years in the January-March period.

AbbVie is facing the expiration of patent protection for Humira, which brought in a staggering $20 billion in sales past year.

"This is a transformational transaction for both companies and achieves unique and complementary strategic objectives, " said AbbVie CEO and Chairman Richard Gonzalez in a prepared statement Tuesday.

Allergan Chief Executive Officer Brent Saunders put together the current version of the company through a series of deals to roll up several pharmaceutical firms in 2014, and has run the company since then.

Saunders built his reputation as a dealmaker, but Allergan has struggled since Pfizer Inc walked away from a $160 billion deal in 2016. AbbVie said Tuesday it will pay $120.30 in cash and a portion of its stock for each Allergan share.

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Saunders has been under pressure over the a year ago to break up the company, with activist investor David Tepper running a campaign to urge Allergan to hire an independent chairman.

Investors have also questioned Saunders' growth plans beyond acquisitions and the quality of the company's drug pipeline.

AbbVie shareholders will own 83% of the specialty drug company combination after the deal's completion, while Allergan shareholders will have a 17% stake.

Other analysts say the Allergan deal looks more like a cosmetic fix than a long-term solution.

Allergan remains an industry leader in aesthetics, and is likely to be the cornerstone of AbbVie's valuation, SVB Leerink analyst Geoffrey Porges said in a note.

AbbVie shares were trading down 10.5 per cent at $70.50, while Allergan shares were up almost 28.4 per cent in early trading.

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