Is the takeover of AstraZeneca by Pfizer finally the tonic needed for European M&A?

Monday saw the world’s press report that Pfizer, one of the largest US-based pharmaceuticals companies, was actively considering an offer (albeit informally for the moment) for the UK’s AstraZeneca. Just last night Pfizer acknowledged that it had submitted a “non -binding preliminary indication of interest” to the AstraZeneca board as far back as January this year.

Current indications suggest that AstraZeneca would be valued at just south of USD 100bn and if the deal does go ahead, even at this price, it would be the largest takeover of a UK listed company since the USD 46bn acquisition of Orange by France Telecom back in May 2005 - nearly 9 years ago!

But a bit like buses, you have none for ages and then all of sudden three or four come along at once, and the European pharma sector has certainly experienced this in the last 10 days, even prior to Monday’s potential Pfizer AstraZeneca tie up. April had already seen the announcement of three deals totalling USD 28.5bn and involving three of the world’s other pharma heavyweights; Novartis AG’s USD 16bn acquisition of Glaxosmithkline’s oncology products unit; Glaxo’s USD 7.1bn purchase of Novartis’s vaccine business and Eli Lilly & Company’s USD 5.4bn takeover of Novartis AG’s animal health unit.

All of these deals may be just what the doctor ordered for European M&A activity and its deal makers!





Filed under: M&A, pharmaceuticals, UK, US, dealmaking