Sector News

UK drugmakers back in spotlight as bidders free to return

November 24, 2014
Life sciences
Two of the UK’s biggest health care companies, AstraZeneca and Smith & Nephew, will be pushed into the spotlight again this week as bidding restrictions on their former suitors expire.
 
After a six-month cooling off period, US drugmaker Pfizer will be able to approach AstraZeneca again, while the American orthopaedic company Stryker will also be allowed to return for hip and knee replacement maker Smith & Nephew.
 
Stryker is understood to be still keen but unlikely to return immediately after the takeover deadline ends on Friday. It is expected to return next year.
 
Stryker is under pressure to do a deal as its orthopaedic rivals, Zimmer, Biomet and Johnson & Johnson have already struck their own blockbuster deals.
 
However, sources have called the Pfizer-AstraZeneca situation “dead” and said the US drugmaker is now focused on other opportunities. Pfizer was said to have turned its attentions to rival US drugmaker Actavis, but Actavis bulked up with its $66bn acquisition of Allergan. The Swiss biotech company Actelion has also been on its radar.
 
Meanwhile, AstraZeneca’s share price has risen on the back of a boost in its pipeline, making it unlikely that Pfizer would be able to afford the group, particularly now the tax benefits of a deal have been complicated by new US Treasury rules.
 
Takeover Panel rules require bidders to walk away for six months after a failed bid, but few return. The last occasion was in 2001 when French industrial group Lafarge returned for UK cement maker Blue Circle.
 
By Ashley Armstrong
 

comments closed

Related News

May 21, 2022

As monkeypox cases emerge in US and Europe, Bavarian Nordic inks vaccine order

Life sciences

A monkeypox outbreak is emerging in the U.S. and Europe, and at least one country is amping up countermeasure preparedness. Bavarian Nordic has secured a contract with an unnamed European country to supply its smallpox vaccine, called Imvanex in Europe, in response to the emergence of monkeypox cases, the Danish company said Thursday.

May 21, 2022

Moderna chairman Afeyan defends hiring practices after CFO debacle: report

Life sciences

Moderna’s recent chief financial officer debacle—in which Jorge Gomez departed on his second day on the job—raised questions about the company’s hiring process given its rush to global biopharma prominence. The most obvious one: How was it possible for Gomez to be hired when he was under investigation by his previous employer, Dentsply Sirona of Charlotte, N.C.

May 21, 2022

Merck to pay up to $1.4B in cancer deal with Kelun, but details are scarce

Life sciences

Merck & Co. is plucking a cancer project from the branch of Chinese-based Kelun Pharmaceutical for up to $1.4 billion, but details from the New Jersey-based Big Pharma have been hard to come by. The deal, first disclosed Monday on the Shenzhen stock exchange, has Merck handing over $47 million in upfront cash in exchange for ex-China rights to a “macromolecular tumor project.”