Sector News

Can Baxalta hold off Shire with its own bid for Ariad?

September 1, 2015
Life sciences

Baxalta may not want to be snatched up at its young age, as it told Irish suitor Shire early this month. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t want to land some deals itself–and Ariad Pharmaceuticals may be on its radar.

The Illinois pharma, recently spun off by Baxter, is reportedly in talks to buy Ariad, Bloomberg sources say. But there’s no certainty the two will come to an agreement, and Baxalta could also go after other targets. On Friday, Cambridge, MA-based Ariad had a market cap of $1.5 billion, but that had swelled to about $1.7 billion at press time on the deal speculation.

Buying up Ariad, the maker of once-suspended leukemia treatment Iclusig, would beef up Baxalta’s offerings in oncology–an area it’s trying to expand alongside its flagship hematology work. In May, parent company Baxter agreed to purchase leukemia treatment Oncaspar from Italy’s Sigma-Tau Finanziaria for $900 million to bolster Baxalta ahead of the biopharma unit’s spinoff.

An Ariad buy could also throw a wrench in Shire’s plans. The Irish drugmaker went public with its $30 billion bid to buy Baxalta a few weeks back, and it’s sticking to the offer despite a cool response. Baxalta has firmly rejected the bid, with CEO Ludwig Hantson insisting it was both too low and a poor fit.

“In some respects, the nature of Shire’s interest in Baxalta is puzzling. Is it trying to opportunistically acquire our attractive hemophilia, immunology and growing oncology platforms without true synergies?” Hantson said on a call with shareholders a week after dismissing the proposal. “We have an attractive set of franchises and it would be a shame to hand it over for a lowball valuation.”

Meanwhile, orchestrating a buyout could be on the agenda for Ariad; in April, its outgoing chief exec said the company was open to “strategic alternatives.” His exit was forced by Alex Denner, the protégé of notorious shareholder activist Carl Icahn, who launched a proxy brawl in February.

By Carly Helfand

Source: Fierce Pharma

comments closed

Related News

October 2, 2022

GSK names Julie Brown, a 25-year AstraZeneca veteran, its first woman CFO

Life sciences

Five years ago, GSK made headlines when it hired Emma Walmsley to become the first woman to run a major pharmaceutical company. Now the Big Pharma has brought in another woman to control the company’s finances. Julie Brown will be GSK’s next chief financial officer. Brown, currently the chief operating and financial officer at fashion and beauty brand Burberry Group, is set to replace Iain Mackay.

October 2, 2022

Moderna creates new launch preparation role, poaches Novartis exec as manufacturing lead

Life sciences

Moderna created a new role responsible for “building out the company’s organization to support its growing pipeline.” Starting first thing 2023, Juan Andres, Moderna’s manufacturing head, will step into this new role under the title president of strategic partnerships and enterprise expansion, the company said Thursday.

October 2, 2022

Torrent Pharma to acquire Curatio for $245.16m

Life sciences

The latest takeover is anticipated to boost the presence of Torrent in the dermatology segment. Indian company Torrent Pharmaceuticals has signed a definitive agreement for the complete acquisition of Curatio Healthcare for $245.16m (Rs20bn).