The US pharmaceutical company Allergan, known for their Botox, agreed an Actavis bid of 53 billion euros, they permanently passed up the proposition of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International and the activist investor William Ackman.
The Allergan-Actavis entity will have a diversified portfolio of medicines and generic, especially in dermatology, gynecology and ophthalmology. It should generate about €19 billion in sales annually, making it one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies.
The Botox whose active ingredient is the botulinum toxin, is a substance produced by bacteria which paralyzes the muscles. The market is exploding worldwide, especially in the US, where the injection to erase facial wrinkles was approved in 2002 by the FDA (Food and Drugs Administration). More than 4 million botox injections were performed in 2012 in the United States and it is still increasing.
Moreover, Allergan had previously rebuffed Valeant Pharmaceuticals and activist investor William Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management, which together had been pursuing it for months. On Oct. 27, Valeant raised its offer for Allergan to €160 or more a share. Allergan said Valeant’s offer undervalued its worth and expressed concerns that Valeant would diminish the company’s investment in research and development.
“This combination will greatly enhance our U.S. and international commercial opportunities,” said Paul Bisaro, Executive Chairman of Actavis. “In the U.S., the combination makes us more relevant to an even broader group of physicians and customers. Overseas, it will enhance our commercial position, expand our portfolio and broaden our footprint in Canada, Europe and Southeast Asia and other high-value growth markets, includingChina, India, the Middle East and Latin America.”
Allergan and Actavis would make a fruitful match, but Actavis’ acquisition of Allergan is just the latest in a wave of tie ups among companies in the pharmaceutical sector. Bayer announced in May that it was buying Merck’s consumer care business for €11,2 billion. And in April, Novartis, Glaxo SmithKline and Eli Lilly joined forces in a €23 billion deal to restructured their drug units.