Pfizer takes King in $3.6B pain gambit

Just two years after swallowing up Alpharma in a $1.6 billion takeover, King Pharmaceuticals is handing over the keys to Pfizer after signing off on a $3.6 billion buyout offer.

Pfizer agreed to pay $14.25 a share for King, a 40 percent premium on its Monday close. Proving that he still has a hefty appetite for new acquisitions, Pfizer CEO Jeffrey Kindler made clear that much of the value of this deal is related to King's pipeline of pain drugs.

"We are highly impressed by King's innovative products and technology in the pain relief disease area, as well as by its success in advancing promising compounds in its pipeline," Kindler says in a statement. Tennessee-based King is collaborating with Pain Therapeutics on a new, tamper-proof form of oxycodone dubbed Remoxy.

King went after Alpharma to get its hands on new pain drugs that would prove harder to abuse than some of the products it had on the market. And while there were plenty of regulatory bumps along the road, King won an approval in the summer of 2009 for Embeda, winning a race with other developers in the abuse-resistant category.

- here's the Pfizer release
- check out the Bloomberg story
- and here's the NYT report