Abbott acquires Chile’s CFR Pharmaceuticals for $2.9 billion

Pharma giant joins wave of dealmaking sweeping the health-care industry


Abbott Laboratories, the largest maker of heart stents and adult nutritional beverages, joined the dealmaking sweeping the health-care industry with a $2.9 billion agreement to acquire Chile’s CFR Pharmaceuticals.

Abbott, , which employs about 3,000 people across 11 sites in Ireland, will buy Kalo Pharma Internacional, the holding company that indirectly owns 73 per cent of CFR, and conduct a cash tender offer for the remaining shares outstanding, the Illinois-based drugmaker said in a statement today.

The equity value of the deal is about 53 per cent more than CFR’s value of 1.05 trillion pesos ($1.89 billion), based on yesterday’s closing price.

The offer is about 35 cents a share, the companies said. The all-cash acquisition will more than double its drugs sales in the $73 billion Latin American industry, the company said. CFR will add to Abbott’s business of selling brand-name versions of generic medicines, an area that hasn’t met investor expectations.

CFR’s price won’t prevent Abbott from more purchases to boost that area, Abbott chief executive Miles White said. “I don’t feel particularly constrained by resources right now,” White said on a conference call. “There are some opportunities that we continue to consider. We want to enhance the markets and segments that are important to us.”

Abbott rose less than 1 percent to $39.31 at 10.24am New York time. The shares gained 4.2 percent in the past twelve months through yesterday. CFR’s Markets Santiago-based CFR, Chile’s biggest drugmaker, sells a range of products for women’s health, heart and respiratory diseases in 15 markets across Latin America.

Abbott said it will also assume CFR’s net debt of about $430 million. “This looks to be an interesting move by Abbott to double down in the portion of its business that has come under significant pressure and investor concern over the past year and a half,” said Derrick Sung, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein in New York, in a note to investors.