Another deal in healthcare: what’s the magic pill?

April 13, 2009

pillsAs dealmakers everywhere struggle to get deals done, the healthcare industry seals yet another one.

Express Scripts has agreed to buy health insurer WellPoint’s prescription business for $4.68 billion in a significant expansion for the U.S. pharmacy beenfit manager. The deal will be a concoction of cash and up to $1.4 billion in common stock, and will generate more than $1 billion of incremental EBITDA.

This comes on the heels of Pfizer’s $68 billion acquisition of Wyeth, Merck’s $41.1 billion takeover of Schering Plough and Roche Holding’s $46.8 billion buyout of Genentech. Granted, this isn’t a pharma deal, but it still falls under the umbrella of the healthcare sector.

And in a market where deals aren’t getting done — mainly due to tight credit conditions and partly due to value gaps between buyers and sellers (due to the huge declines in stocks late last year) — you’ve gotta ask: what’s the magic pill?

Deals of the day:

* Indian mid-sized IT outsourcer Tech Mahindra won a bidding auction for a majority stake in fraud-hit Satyam Computer Services Ltd, edging out Larsen & Toubro, seen by some analysts as the favourite bidder. 
* India’s Larsen & Toubro, which has built up a 12 percent stake in Satyam Computer Services, plans to hold on to the stake, its chief financial officer said on television channel NDTV Profit. 
* Pakistan’s Habib Bank Ltd. (HBL) and MCB Bank are interested in buying the operations of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in the South Asian nation, the two banks said in separate statements on Monday. 
* A bid by Japan’s Mitsubishi Rayon Co for unlisted British chemicals maker Lucite International has hit a hurdle in China where regulators have delayed the acquisition, two sources briefed on the matter said. 

* Orascom Telecom said on Monday it was proposing to extend the deadline to April 15 for implementing a court order for the Egyptian firm to sell its shares in mobile firm Mobinil to France Telecom.

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