M&A: Multitudinous and ample

The final outcome of the battle between Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Canada’s Valeant Pharmaceuticals International to buy Cephalon serves as a good illustration of why it helps to have a plan B.


In May, Teva beat out Valeant’s $5.7 billion offer to buy Frazier, Pa.-based Cephalon with a $6.8 billion offer of its own, acquiring Cephalon’s hefty pipeline in the process. And last month, Teva bought Taiyo Pharmaceutical Industry, Japan’s third-largest generics company, for $934 million.


It’s been some time since an acquisition on the scale of Pfizer’s purchase of Wyeth has occurred, but there still are plenty of mergers and acquisitions to go around. 


Valeant has gone ahead with other acquisitions in order to position itself as a leading skin care company. At the end of June, it bought the rights to Elidel (pimecrolimus) and Xerese (acyclovir and hydrocortisone), treatments for eczema and cold sores, respectively, from Sweden’s Meda for $76 million up front. Last month, it spent $425 million to buy Dermik, Sanofi’s skin care business. Shortly thereafter, it bought Ortho Dermatologics, Johnson & Johnson’s skin care subsidiary, for $345 million.


In June, Endo Pharmaceuticals bought American Medical Systems, a device manufacturer focused on male and female pelvic health, for $2.9 billion. Then, last month, Bristol-Myers Squibb purchased San Diego-based Amira Pharmaceuticals, which makes drugs for inflammatory and fibrotic diseases, for $325 million up front. Also last month, Perrigo, a manufacturer of generic prescription and OTC drugs, closed its acquisition of Paddock Labs, a company that makes similar products, for $540 million. The Federal Trade Commission required Perrigo to divest a small handful of Paddock’s drugs, which it would sell to Watson Pharmaceuticals.


Pfizer — which earlier this year plunked down $3.6 billion to buy King Pharmaceuticals, a Bristol, Tenn.-based company specializing in pain drugs — announced last month it would buy Icagen, another developer of pain drugs in which Pfizer already owned an 11% stake, for $56 million.