Abbott Laboratories is selling off one-third of its stake in Mylan, a few weeks after Mylan wrapped up its $5.3 billion stock swap for a portfolio of Abbott’s specialty and branded drugs.
Abbott will sell 35 million of the approximately 110 million shares it acquired in that stock swap, about 32% of its stake. The original deal, announced last July, handed Pittsburgh-based generics specialist Mylan a sizable chunk of Abbott’s drug business in developed countries outside the U.S. The portfolio of 100 branded and generic meds brought in $2 billion in 2013 sales, Mylan says.
In addition to those drug rights, Mylan gained Abbott’s commercial infrastructure in those markets, which could help it expand sales for its EpiPen injection for anaphylactic shock and launch copies of Teva Pharmaceutical’s multiple sclerosis powerhouse Copaxone and GlaxoSmithKline’s respiratory behemoth Advair, CEO Heather Bresch said at the time of the deal.
As part of the stock swap, Mylan and Abbott engineered a tax inversion. The deal created a Netherlands-based operation that would become Mylan’s headquarters for tax purposes. But the two companies had to tweak the terms of the deal after the U.S. Treasury cracked down on companies using M&A to move to tax-friendly countries.
The Abbott buy also marked a change of pace for Mylan, which had focused much of its prior dealmaking on emerging markets. The company last year joined forces with Gilead Sciences to roll out HIV drugs in India, launched a biosimilar version of Roche’s blockbuster cancer med Herceptin in that market, and snatched up some Indian plants and development facilities.
Mylan in 2013 inked a $1.6 billion deal for India-based Agila Specialties, the injectables unit of Strides Arcolab, picking up a global commercial and manufacturing network to expand the reach for its products.
By Emily Wasserman