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Merger news : Actavis eyes $3 billion bid for Almirall

Posted on 23 December 2014

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Merger news: Rumors that Ireland-based Actavis  is still looking to buy up a company or two continue with speculation that it is considering Spanish drugmaker Almirall SA. Actavis, which is domiciled in Ireland, but operates out of Parsippany, N.J. was also earlier rumored to be interested in buying GI drugmaker Salix Pharmaceuticals and Omega Pharma NV.

In response to these latest rumors, Almirall indicated in a regulatory filing that there was no truth to the news. Almirall, controlled by the Gallardo family, which founded the company, apparently are interested in finding their own acquisition targets and have about $1.2 billion in assets to spend. Jorge Gallard, chair of Almirall, and Antonio Gallardo, first vice chair, own about 67 percent of the company’s stock.

Almirall, headquartered in Barcelona, has 15 affiliates with sales capabilities in 23 countries. Its products are marketed in over 70 countries. Its products include Actikerall for treating sun damaged skin, Sativex for spasticity due to multiple sclerosis, and Tesavel for diabetes. The company has a market value of 2.3 billion euros.

In late July of this year, AstraZeneca (AZN) purchased Almirall’s respiratory franchise for an initial consideration of $875 million and up to $1.22 billion in development, launch and sales-related milestones. The franchise included Eklira (aclidinium), LAS40464, a combination of aclidinium with formoterol, which has been filed with the EU and is under development in the U.S., LAS100977 (abediterol), a beta2-agonist in Phase II, an M3 antagonist beta2-agonist platform in pre-clinical development and Phase 1 development, and various pre-clinical programs.

Also part of that deal Almirall Sofotec, an Almirall subsidiary focused on proprietary devices, transferred to AstraZeneca.

In September, Actavis acquired Allergan Inc. (AGN), maker of Botox and other medications, in a deal valued at $66 billion. Only a month later sources indicated that Actavis was planning to join Perrigo Company (PRGO), Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim in an attempt to acquire Omega Pharma.

The company was busy, however, acquiring Chicago-based Durata Therapeutics, Inc. (DRTX). Under that deal, Actavis will buy all oustanding Durata stock for $23 per share in cash, or about $675 million.

Actavis also acquired Forest Laboratories, Inc. in October for a cash and equity deal valued at about $28 billion. By 2015 the company is expected to hit annual revenues of more than $15 billion. Since that acquisition the company has beenstreamlining its operations, laying off jobs at various locations across the country, including New Jersey, New York and St. Louis.

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