The deal: Abbott sells its developed market generic drugs business to Mylan
The price tag: $5.3 billion
Inversion? Yes, Mylan will be incorporated in Netherlands under the name Mylan N.V.
Status: Announced; closure expected by end of the quarter
Why it matters: The deal marks Abbott Laboratories' ($ABT) continued drift toward the device world at the expense of drugs ever since it spun off most of its pharmaceutical assets with the creation of AbbVie ($ABBV) at the beginning of 2013. Following the sale, diagnostics and devices will account for the majority of the company's sales, while pharmaceuticals will contribute about 15% of company sales, based on 2013 earnings.
This deal also shows that inversions can withstand the infamous Treasury Department rules designed to discourage the tax-saving practice. And the deal was clearly designed to allow Mylan ($MYL) to invert. That's why Abbott agreed to purchase about 20% of Mylan, but plans to sell the shares soon after the deal closes.
Following the release of the rules, Abbott agreed to buy a slightly larger share of Mylan than originally planned and also manufacture and supply products for affiliates of the new Mylan at friendlier pricing terms, according to an SEC filing.
With that tweak, the deal looks set for closure. Mylan shareholders approved the deal on Jan. 29, a day after the European Commission gave the transaction its blessings conditional upon some divestments from the generic drugs giant.
Abbott's focus is now squarely on medical devices and diagnostics. Indeed, selling noncore assets and bulking up in areas of strength was a consistent theme of the summer of pharma and med tech merger mania.
For example, fellow device bigwig Boston Scientific ($BSX) was on the receiving end of the pattern when it acquired Bayer's peripheral vascular division for $415 million. That transaction closed in September.
Abbott CEO: 'I don't feel the pressure to invert'
Abbott continues evolution toward devices, planning to sell generics portfolio for $5.3B