Novartis spinoff is neat cure for Big Pharma ills

July 29, 2015

The $275 bln Swiss pharma group is injecting three drugs-in-development into a new entity backed by UK investors. Venture capital markets can be better at valuing and nurturing small drugs than Big Pharma shareholders. With biotech markets hot, there’s room for copycat deals.

Danaher breakup eases sting of pricey Pall deal

May 13, 2015

The $60 bln dentures-to-lasers concern is not cutting enough costs to justify its $13.8 bln pounce for the filter maker. But boss Tom Joyce’s surprise decision to voluntarily split Danaher in two dangles the prospect of better value for shareholders. The trick is to deliver.

Pure play gets new spin in filter maker M&A

May 13, 2015

Suitors may be willing to splash out $13 bln for Pall, the largest publicly traded air and water purification company. That’s punchy and cost cuts might not cover the premium. But Pall’s scarcity value, profitability and burgeoning biotech customer base make it a tempting target.

Alexion puts high stock to good use in biotech bid

May 6, 2015

The drugmaker’s $8.4 bln offer for rival Synageva includes a whopping 136 pct premium. The stonking price is based on the rare disease specialist’s view that the market underestimates its target’s value. Exchanging a chunk of pricey paper for the assets may be a savvy move.

Valeant’s $11 bln bid may have scored two knockouts

March 16, 2015

By sweetening its offer for Salix, the acquisitive drugmaker now backed by hedgie Bill Ackman put rival suitor Endo on the mat. The extra cash and a balance sheet reeling from the Allergan deal leave the business model looking wobbly. Valeant may have just rung its own bell too.

AbbVie CEO may have overpaid again in $21 bln deal

March 5, 2015

Richard Gonzalez, the pharma firm’s boss, shelled out $1.6 bln last year to get out of a hard-won bid for Shire. Now he has come out on top in an intensely competitive biotech auction. AbbVie may get a blockbuster drug, but at a high cost: It must share profits with rival J&J.

LabCorp deal tests positive for value destruction

November 3, 2014

The firm that checks patients’ blood is paying $6.1 bln for clinical trial outsourcer Covance. The strategic logic is hazy. Shareholders’ financial diagnosis is damning, too. They swabbed some $700 mln off LabCorp as cost cuts fell far short of the 32 pct premium paid.

Amgen boss makes a prime breakup target

October 22, 2014

Former Morgan Stanley banker Robert Bradway runs the $109 bln biotech being eyed by activist Dan Loeb. Splitting into a cash cow and a growth arm comes up often in the industry but rarely happens. In Amgen’s case, its drug focus and the CEO’s background give the idea a chance.

Roche’s $8 bln bet outsmarts ice-bucket challenge

August 25, 2014

Dumping cold water on heads, the social-media phenomenon now boosting ALS research, is a great way to raise charitable cash. But the drug made by Roche’s target, InterMune, treats a disease with more sufferers. The market may be the more efficient way to direct funds.

U.S. justices square the helix on gene patents

June 13, 2013

The Supreme Court ruled that companies can hold exclusive rights to synthetic human genes, but not naturally occurring ones. That allows biotech businesses to reap rewards for their work without stifling the research of others. The decision serves science, industry and the law.