Botox manufacturer Allergan has bolstered its cosmetic product portfolio once again, signing a $2.48bn agreement to buy Zeltiq Aesthetics.
The latest bolt-on acquisition for Allergan adds what chief executive Brent Saunders said is a "best-in-class" body contouring system, which uses a cooling mechanism to eliminate fat cells that cannot be shifted by diet or exercise.
Zeltiq's CoolSculpting system is approved by the FDA and addresses a growing market currently valued at around $4bn a year worldwide, said Allergan, which maintains the product is the sales leader in the category. Zeltiq made around $350m in revenues from the CoolSculpting portfolio last year.
Saunders said the deal gives its aesthetic pharmaceuticals business another pillar alongside Botox for facial wrinkles, its plastic surgery products and regenerative medicines. The division grew 40% to $1.62bn last year, with the sales increase driven by Botox and the Juvederm dermal filler range.
Since its proposed $160bn merger with Pfizer hit the buffers last year, Allergan has been steadily adding to its R&D and product portfolio with smaller deals, helped by a $40bn-plus cash injection from the sale of its generic drugs business to Teva.
Other deals in the aesthetics sector include Allergan's $2.1bn purchase of Kythera in 2015, bringing in double chin-reducing therapy Kybella (deoxycholic acid), and the takeover of regenerative medicine maker LifeCell for $2.9bn last December.
The Zeltiq acquisition marks another shift in the company's focus towards medical devices and equipment as well as pharmaceuticals, and is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. It is expected to close in the second half of the year.
"With CoolSculpting, our offerings to plastic surgeons, dermatologists and aesthetic practitioners will now extend to three of the largest and fastest-growing segments of their practices," said Saunders. This puts Allergan in "a unique position to provide expanded customer service, and help meet the needs of patients", he added.