Sector News

Pfizer has $33B and the M&A world at its feet

January 26, 2015
Life sciences
Pfizer, which spent much of last year trying to acquire U.K. giant AstraZeneca, is now sitting on about $33 billion in cash, and the company’s deal pedigree has analysts dreaming of major M&A down the line.
 
As Bloomberg notes, that war chest will certainly be a topic of conversation when Pfizer presents its fourth-quarter and full-year results on Tuesday. But until then–and, likely, afterward–it’s anyone’s guess just what the U.S.’s largest drugmaker plans to do with its money.
 
Dissecting Pfizer’s last major overture, the failed $118 billion bid for AstraZeneca, the company was primarily concerned with two things: a U.K. address that could reduce its tax burden and an entry into the blockbuster world of immunotherapies for cancer. Pfizer made up ground on the latter score largely through a roughly $2.9 billion deal with Merck KGaA signed in November, but it remains stuck with a U.S. tax bill.
 
That means it may make another run at Actavis, an Irish-headquartered company whose price tag just got a lot steeper thanks to a $66 billion acquisition of Allergan. Analysts have also bandied about Mylan, Valeant Pharmaceuticals and even GlaxoSmithKline among potential targets.
 
But changing political winds have made such tax-saving moves, called inversions, more difficult and less lucrative, especially for high-profile companies like Pfizer. And, as Thrivent Financial analyst David Heupel told Bloomberg, the company is unlikely to make a big, risky gambit on a high-dollar target.
 
“They’re looking for strategic assets and they’re taking a pretty broad stroke as to what they’re looking at,” Heupel told the news service. “But I think they’re going to take a diligent and disciplined financial approach, and I don’t think that’s going to equate to a lot of opportunity for them.”
 
By Damian Garde
 

comments closed

Related News

April 14, 2024

Bayer taps new North America marketing chief for consumer health division

Life sciences

Avivi joins Bayer fresh off a yearlong stint as chief marketing officer of Advance Auto Parts, which followed about three years spent as marketing chief of another auto parts company, Tenneco. Rounding out her nearly 30-year career in marketing are leadership roles at consumer goods giants Kimberly-Clark and Procter & Gamble.

April 14, 2024

Air Liquide acquires healthcare businesses in Belgium and the Netherlands

Life sciences

Air Liquide S.A. (Paris) is continuing its development with the acquisition of Homecare activities in Belgium and the Netherlands. The two entities acquired in Belgium and the Netherlands support 10,000 patients living with respiratory insufficiency, sleep apnea syndrome or requiring infusion or nutrition treatments.

April 14, 2024

Vertex to acquire Alpine Immune Sciences for $4.9 billion

Life sciences

US-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals has agreed to pay approximately $4.9 billion in cash to acquire Alpine Immune Sciences, a compatriot biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing innovative, protein-based immunotherapies.

How can we help you?

We're easy to reach