The Treasury Department's issuance of a notice cracking down on inversions was designed to create uncertainty, says Terry Haines, head of political analysis at investment research firm ISI Group. By that count, the move has succeeded. Questions abound. Will one of the affected companies sue to challenge the legal validity of the agency's action? And what's next? The 42-page notice requests comment and says that the Treasury Department and the IRS expect to issue additional guidance.
Anyone else feel like we need a mind map to keep track of the incestuous M&A talks going on in pharma right now?
The ongoing attempt by Allergan to thwart a Valeant takeover by bulking up with an acquisition of its own has officially turned nasty. On Tuesday, activist investor William Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management sent a letter to Allergan threatening to sue the company if it goes ahead with its plan to buy Salix Pharmaceuticals--a deal that reportedly could exceed $10 billion.
Acorda Therapeutics is gambling $525 million on a Phase III-ready Parkinson's treatment, striking an all-cash deal to buy Civitas Therapeutics.
With a big corporate split looming ahead, Baxter has stepped in to pick up the ex-U.S. rights to Merrimack Pharmaceuticals' lead cancer therapy, paying $100 million in an upfront fee and committing up to $870 million in additional milestones for the late-stage treatment.
Pfizer and AstraZeneca, AbbVie and Shire, Hospira and Danone. Those are a few of the merger pairs--actual or potential--that stand to lose from U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew's new tax-inversion-fighting rules. Just take a look at AstraZeneca and Shire's market value today: together down $8 billion.
Allergan might have had a reason to play nice with Valeant Pharmaceuticals. When the two companies agreed to set a special shareholder meeting about Valeant's hostile bid, Allergan was busy with two other potential deals.
Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew yesterday unveiled a plethora reforms to make tax inversion more difficult and less attractive, potentially killing a plethora of pending mergers with foreign companies, including Medtronic's $43 billion tie-up with Ireland's Covidien.
And so the M&A dance begins. Auxilium Pharmaceuticals today turned its back on a $2.2 billion buyout offer it received last week from Endo Pharmaceutical and said it would stick instead with its plan to merge with Canadian eye-drug maker QLT.
Auxilium Pharmaceuticals has no intention of accepting a multibillion-dollar bid from Endo, the company said, preferring to stay the course and pull off an en-vogue tax inversion as it looks to cut costs.