Pharma Deals, Acquisitions and Takeover Top 10 Pharma–Deals: The Biggest Fusions of a 265 Billion Dollar Market

The pharma sector is under extreme pressure: For years now, turnover and profits for the pharma giants have been declining. Given the tightening situations on global markets, takeovers and fusions are a frequently attempted way out of the plight. According to a study by Ernst & Young, the pharma industry is on the brink of mergers and buy-overs to the sum of 265 billion dollars, in 2014. PharmaTEC summarises the biggest deals to date in the sector.

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Wuerzburg – Sinking product prices, cost pressure and stagnating demand in the core markets combined with increasing competition from cheap imitation products are the main reasons for the continuing weak performance of the big pharma companies in turnover and profit. In the past year alone, the turnover of the world’s ten pharma companies sank by 2.1 % to close to 240 billion euros. The consequence is an ever-increasing concentration process within the sector. The list of the ten biggest pharma deals contains successful, still hovering and also already failed takeover bids.

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Place 10 – Valeant/Allergan – 49 billion dollars (2014/outcome open)

The Canadian pharma company wants to take over the US American Botox manufacturer Allergan for 49 billion dollars. The first takeover bid founders, however, on the veto of the Allergan management. Immediately afterwards, Valeant addresses the shareholders of Allergan with a public takeover bid. The first deadline, 15 August, passes without a conclusion. Only shareholders of 4% of the shares handled on the stock exchange are prepared to sell at this point in time. Valeant reacts by prolonging the deadline, under the same conditions, to the end of the year.

Place 9 – Abbvie/Shire – 54.7 billion dollars (2014/finalised)

After long vacillation, the US American pharma company Abbvie takes over the British competitor Shire. Only after a total of five offers does the management of the Irish orphan drug specialists agree to sell to the US company. The takeover costs Abbvie 54.7 billion dollars.

Place 8 – Pfizer/Pharmacia – 60.7 billion dollars (2002/finalised)

The US American pharma giant Pfizer, with three successful and one failed takeover, is by far the most active firm in this ranking. In 2002, Pfizer took over the Swedish competitor Pharmacia. The purchase price amounted to 60.7 billion dollars in shares. After the purchase, Pfizer held at that time 12 medicines with an annual turnover of more than billion dollars each.

Place 7: Sanofi/Aventis – 65.6 billion dollars (2004/finalised)

The French pharma company Sanofi came into existence in 2004 through a fusion of Sanofi-Synthélabo and Aventis. In their turn, both companies originated from a fusion. As early as 1999, Sanofi and Synthélabo combined to form Sanofi-Synthélabo, and from Hoechst and Rhône-Poulenc Aventis emerged. These fusions were the coming together of equal partners, since the stock exchange value of both companies before the takeover was approximately the same. But it is curious that the hostile takeover bid came from Sanofi-Synthélabo, although Aventis had twice as large a turnover at this time. Until 2011, Sanofi continued to sign under the name of Sanofi-Aventis.