Pfizer to acquire Anacor for $5.2bn

May 16, 2016, 2:25 PM EDT
(Source: Vinnie Lauria/flickr)
(Source: Vinnie Lauria/flickr)

Pfizer will acquire Anacor for $5.2 billion, in its first deal since breaking off a proposed merger with Allergan.

The Wall Street Journal reports;

Pfizer will pay $99.25 a share for Anacor, a 55% premium to Friday’s closing price. The companies said the deal, including debt, is valued at $5.2 billion. Last month, Pfizer and Allergan terminated their planned $150 billion merger after the Obama administration took aim at the deal that would have moved the biggest drug company in the U.S. to Ireland to lower its taxes. Since then, Pfizer has been looking for deals of its own. Pfizer executives have said they would like to boost their portfolio of patent-protected drugs. The company plans to decide by the end of the year whether to split into separate businesses focused on new drugs and medicines that have lost patent protection. Palo Alto-based Anacor has no products on the market. Its flagship asset, crisaborole, is currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of eczema.

The New York Times writes:

Over the last few years, Pfizer had been trying to make big bets overseas in an effort to become more competitive and lower its tax bill. After terminating deals with AstraZeneca and most recently, Allergan, Pfizer has turned to relatively smaller, American biotechnology companies for acquisitions. Pfizer may decide to split its company in two, with brand-name products on one side and older, generic products on the other. Anacor’s drugs would fit with the innovative business, said Albert Bourla, group president of Pfizer’s global innovative pharma and global vaccines, oncology and consumer health care businesses.“We believe we are well positioned to maximize crisaborole’s commercial potential through our strong relationships with pediatricians and primary care physicians,” Mr. Bourla said in the statement on Monday.

Bloomberg notes:

Getting Anacor's eczema drug on the market early next year would boost Pfizer's growth prospects. A primary rationale for breaking Pfizer up is to unchain its innovative drugs from its lower-margin, lower-growth, established-products business. The company's last major acquisition -- a $16.8 billion deal for Hospira last year -- was seen as bulking up the established business so it could survive better on its own. The Anacor deal may point to a similar growth-boosting strategy for the other side of the business.

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