A Deal to Boost Both Companies
The New York-based Bristol-Myers Squibb will acquire the New Jersey-based Celgene in an attempt to boost both company’s stock. According to the agreement, the deal – which still needs approval from shareholders and regulators – will pay Celgene shareholders $102.43 per share, representing a 53.7% premium on Celgene share’s Wednesday close.
Investor Reaction Was Mixed
With 2017 revenues of $20.8 billion, Bristol-Myers Squibb is the eighth largest pharmaceutical manufacturer in the nation, while Celgene’s $13 billion makes it the ninth largest. If the two company were to merge as proposed, the resulting company would be the forth largest pharma maker in the nation. Even so, reaction from investors Thursday was mixed. In response to the announcement, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s stock sank by 12%, while Celgene’s shares rose 25%. Including debt, the deal is valued at over $95 billion.
Not A Done Deal
The acquisition is not by any means a done-deal however, as Bristol investors may balk at the idea of taking-on more debt. Currently Bristol’s outstanding long-term obligations stands at $7.3 billion. If the mergers is approved however, the deal would add $32 billion in new debt to Bristol’s balance sheet in order to fund the deal, while also assuming Celgene’s $20 billion of current debt obligations. The deal also comes after a 2018 which saw Celgene shares dropped by 39%.
An Uncertain Future
Currently, the two companies have nine drugs on the market, with another six reportedly nearly ready for release within the next two years. The most valuable of the drugs currently on the market is Celgene’s, Revlimid which in 2018 generated $8.2 billion in sales. However, the patent on Revlimid is set to expire in the not too distant future, and with the Trump administration’s looking to reign in drug prices, both company’s could use a bit of a boost. That said, if the reported six new drugs in development are approved, it could represent as much as $15 billion in new revenue for the two companies.
Whether or not the merger will proceed as planned remains to be seen, but it if is approved, with a debt-factored valuation of $95 billion, it would be one of the largest pharmaceutical mergers of all-time.