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The Editors blog

An inside look at what’s happening within the pharma industry and across the PMGroup from the PMLiVE editorial team

A sharper focus

The enthusiasm for massive M&A deals is set to redraw industry boundaries

The industry's reawakened enthusiasm for massive M&A deals is set to redraw industry boundaries - particularly if Pfizer is eventually successful with its huge $106bn proposal to acquire AstraZeneca.

There's certainly been no shortage of big deals this month, as the likes of Bristol-Myers Squibb, Lundbeck and Bayer struck out on the acquisition trail.

Perhaps the most intriguing element of this sudden rash of M&A activity was the $16bn Novartis-GlaxoSmithKline 'asset swap', which will see Novartis pick up GSK's oncology portfolio, hand the British company most of its vaccines interests and merge its consumer healthcare business with that of GSK.

The deal will redefine the identity of GSK and Novartis over time and finds further reflection this month in other developments. Merck & Co decided to step away from consumer healthcare, selling its interests in the area - and brands such as Claritin - to Bayer for $14.2bn, and Reckitt Benckiser is considering its pharma future.

Coming after the Abbott/AbbVie and Pfizer/Zoetis splits of the last 18 months, we should expect more of these kinds of deals as companies seek to ruthlessly sharpen their focus.

  • This article was originally published as the editor's comment in PME May 2014


Article by
Dominic Tyer

editorial director of PMGroup

16th May 2014

From: Research, Sales

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