Belgium's UCB is buying Germany's Schwarz Pharma for about $5.6 billion, the third major drug company deal in Germany in five days. Together, the two companies will enjoy about €3.3 billion in revenue and an R&D budget of €770 million. The merger will position the company to play partner with others in drug development around the world. According to UCB, "the enlarged UCB would be a more attractive partner for licensing deals and R&D collaboration than either Schwarz Pharma or UCB alone."
Analysts say the string of deals--including Merck KGaA's offer for Serono--highlights the clear need of mid-sized drug companies in Europe to merge in order to compete against the likes of Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline. It takes very deep pockets to bring a drug to market. These deals also represent the exits of major family holdings which were seen as a drag on the companies' ability to expand.
- read the report on the buyout from The Scotsman