The two drug makers are in talks over a deal that could create the world’s largest healthcare company. Fred Katayama reports.
Pfizer in talks with Allergan
The biggest takeover deal of the year in the works. Pfizer is in early talks to buy Allergan. The maker of Botox and dry-eye treatment Restasis sports a market value of $113 billion. A marriage would vault them past Johnson & Johnson to create the world’s largest healthcare company.
The talks come 18 months after Pfizer scrapped its earlier bid to buy AstraZeneca, a proposed deal that was aimed at cutting Pfizer’s tax rate by moving its headquarters to the U.K. A deal with Allergan would give the U.S.’ largest drugmaker a similar benefit because Allergan is based in Ireland where tax rates are lower than in the U.S.
Credit Suisse senior analyst Vamil Divan thinks Allergan is one of the few targets that would allow Pfizer to do such a tax deal. He said, “…we still believe Allergan would be the best fit from a strategic and financial perspective.”
Allergan itself was taken over by Actavis last year, which then adopted the Allergan name.
Allergan’s shares spiked higher in early trading. They’re down 15 percent since late July, when healthcare stocks began their slide amid a vow by presidential candidate HIllary Clinton to lower drug prices. The stock of the proposed acquirer, Pfizer, also rose on news of the talks.