Bristol-Myers Squibb to acquire Celgene in $90bn deal

Transaction will be one of largest in history of pharma sector

The deal aims to create a pharmaceutical leader in cancer and immunologic disease treatments. Photograph: iStock

The deal aims to create a pharmaceutical leader in cancer and immunologic disease treatments. Photograph: iStock

 

Bristol-Myers Squibb, the US drugmaker, has agreed to buy Celgene in a cash and stock deal valuing the rival drugmaker at roughly $90 billion including debt, in one of the largest pharmaceutical deals in history.

The tie-up was championed as a means to create a pharmaceutical leader in cancer and immunologic disease treatments. The combined group will have nine drugs that each generate more than $1 billion in annual sales, as well as a large pipeline of treatments in early-stage development with revenue potential of $15 billion.

Bristol-Myers-Squibb employs about 650 people in the Republic

Celgene stockholders will receive one share of Bristol-Myers Squibb, which closed on Wednesday at $52.43, and $50 in cash per share. Investors in Celgene will also receive rights to shares, which will pay out in the future based on the companies passing certain regulatory milestones, such as approval for pipeline products.

The deal value also includes the assumption of Celgene’s net debt, which neared $18 billion, based on its most recent filings with US securities regulators.

The two companies said the deal represented a 51 per cent premium to the average closing price of Celgene shares over the past 30 days. The boards of both groups have approved the deal, which they hope to complete in the third quarter of 2019.

Shares in Bristol-Myers Squibb fell 12 per cent in pre-market trading to $46.14, while Celgene advanced 32 per cent to $88.06.

The tie-up will boost Bristol-Myers Squibb’s pipeline as it fights off strong competition to one of its leading immunotherapy cancer assets, Opdivo, from Merck’s Keytruda, among others. For Celgene, the announcement represents an end to a standalone company that had at one point seemed one of the brightest stars in the biotech firmament.

However, a series of stumbles blighted its fortunes, sending shares tumbling about 37 per cent in the past 12 months on fears that the company would not have enough new drugs to plug the gap when it lost patent protection for its blockbuster cancer treatment, Revlimid. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019