Pfizer, Allergan in talks to create $300bn drug giantBotox maker Allergan and Pfizer Inc on Thursday confirmed they were in preliminary, friendly talks on a potential merger, a deal that would create the world’s largest drugmaker. Both Pfizer and Irelandbased Allergan said no agreement has been reached and declined to discuss any terms that might leadto such a tie-up.
Allergan shares jumped 8.2% to $310.92 in US trading, while Pfizer was off almost 1% to $35.12. A purchase of Dublin-based Allergan, with a market value of more than$113 billion, would be the biggest in Pfizer’s long history of huge deals and restore it as the world’s largest drugmaker, worth about $330 billion.
Pfizer CEO Ian Read earlier on Thursday said he was open to any moves that produce the best long-term value for the company. Speaking at a Wall Street Journal event, Read said he was looking at various growth strategies, including a deal, “if thatwould add value to shareholders”.
“Or we could sit tight or we could do a split. Or we could do a business development deal and then do a split, whatever produces the best long-term value,” Read said.
Allergan, the product of a recent merger with generic drugmaker Actavis, is itself in the process of selling a large portfolio of generic medicines to Teva Pharmaceutical for$40.5 billion. Pfizer recently closed a $15-billion purchase of hospital products company Hospira.