Pharma giant Bristol-Myers Squibb has agreed to acquire US biotechnology company Celgene in a cash-cum-stock deal worth around $74bn.
The merger of Bristol-Myers Squibb and Celgene is expected to result in a specialty biopharma company that will strive to develop high-value innovative medicines to meet the needs of patients with cancer, inflammatory and immunologic disease and cardiovascular disease.
The combined company will boast of top oncology franchises across solid tumors and hematologic malignancies led by Opdivo and Yervoy and also Revlimid and Pomalyst.
Its immunology and inflammation franchise will be led by Orencia and Otezla while the cardiovascular franchise will feature Eliquis and others.
Overall, the combined company will have nine products that have registered more than $1bn in annual sales.
Bristol-Myers Squibb said that the new launch opportunities of the combined company have a potential of yielding more than $15bn in revenue. There are six near-term product launches that are expected, which include TYK2 and ozanimod in immunology and inflammation along with four hematology candidates – luspatercept, liso-cel (JCAR017), bb2121 and fedratinib.
Bristol-Myers Squibb chairman and CEO Giovanni Caforio said: “Together with Celgene, we are creating an innovative biopharma leader, with leading franchises and a deep and broad pipeline that will drive sustainable growth and deliver new options for patients across a range of serious diseases.”
As per the merger terms, shareholders of Celgene will be issued 1.0 Bristol-Myers Squibb share and $50.00 in cash for each share they hold in the former. Further, they will also get one tradeable Contingent Value Right (CVR) for each share of Celgene, which will give them the rights to get a payment for future regulatory milestones.
Upon closing of the merger, Bristol-Myers Squibb shareholders are likely to own about 69% of the combined company while Celgene shareholders will own the remaining 31% or so.
Celgene chairman and CEO Mark Alles said: “For more than 30 years, Celgene’s commitment to leading innovation has allowed us to deliver life-changing treatments to patients in areas of high unmet need.
“Combining with Bristol-Myers Squibb, we are delivering immediate and substantial value to Celgene shareholders and providing them meaningful participation in the long-term growth opportunities created by the combined company.”
The merger agreement has been approved by boards of directors of both the pharma companies. Its closing is expected to occur in the third quarter of 2019 subject to approval by shareholders of both the companies and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
Almost a year ago, Celgene signed a deal worth about $7bn to acquire Impact Biomedicines, which has been engaged in the development of fedratinib, an oral small molecule JAK2 kinase inhibitor.