Pharma deal aims at $1bn in sales

The Irish Times - Business - - MARKETS -

Bris­tol-My­ers Squibb, the US drug­maker, has agreed to buy Cel­gene in a cash and stock deal valu­ing the ri­val drug­maker at roughly $90 bil­lion in­clud­ing debt, in one of the largest phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal deals in his­tory.

The tie-up was cham­pi­oned as a means to cre­ate a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal leader in cancer and im­muno­logic dis­ease treat­ments. The com­bined group will have nine drugs that each gen­er­ate more than $1 bil­lion in an­nual sales, as well as a large pipe­line of treat­ments in early-stage de­vel­op­ment with rev­enue po­ten­tial of $15 bil­lion.

Bris­tol-My­ers-Squibb em­ploys about 650 peo­ple in the Repub­lic.

Cel­gene stock­hold­ers will re­ceive one share of Bris­tol-My­ers Squibb, which closed on Wed­nes­day at $52.43, and $50 in cash per share. In­vestors in Cel­gene will also re­ceive rights to shares.

The two com­pa­nies said the deal rep­re­sented a 51 per cent pre­mium to the av­er­age clos­ing price of Cel­gene shares over the past 30 days. The boards of both groups have ap­proved the deal, which they hope to com­plete in the third quar­ter of 2019.

Shares in Bris­tol-My­ers Squibb fell 12 per cent in pre-mar­ket trad­ing to $46.14, while Cel­gene ad­vanced 32 per cent to $88.06.

The tie-up will boost Bris­tol-My­ers Squibb’s pipe­line as it fights off strong com­pe­ti­tion to one of its lead­ing im­munother­apy cancer as­sets, Op­divo, from Merck’s Keytruda, among oth­ers.

For Cel­gene, the an­nounce­ment rep­re­sents an end to a stand­alone com­pany that had at one point seemed one of the bright­est stars in the biotech fir­ma­ment.

How­ever, a se­ries of stum­bles blighted its for­tunes, send­ing shares tum­bling about 37 per cent in the past 12 months on fears that the com­pany would not have enough new drugs to plug the gap when it lost patent pro­tec­tion for its block­buster cancer treat­ment, Revlimid. – Copy­right The Fi­nan­cial Times Lim­ited 2019

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