Abbvie To Buy Allergan For $60 Billion In Latest Pharma Megadeal

Just months after Bristol-Myers Squibb and Celgene announced one of the biggest drug industry tie-ups in recent memory back in January, another pharmaceutical industry megadeal has landed.

WSJ reports that Abbvie Inc. is nearing a deal to buy Allergan for more than $60 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, as the two big drugmakers bet a merger will help them secure new sources of growth.


The takeover is worth $188 a share in cash and stock. Abbvie confirmed the deal in a press release published Tuesday morning, shortly after the WSJ report.

Abbvie will pay most of the price, represents a 45% premium over Allergan’s closing share price Monday of $129.57, in cash. If it wasn't for the recent surge in Botox-maker Allergan's shares over rumors that the company might be breaking up - an eventuality favored by Wall Street - Abbvie would be paying an even larger premium.

Allergan's shares soared on the news, climbing a staggering 35%.


Buying Allergan will give Abbvie a dominant position in the beauty drugs space, as well as several popular eye treatments, as the patent protection on Abbvie's Humira, one of the world's best-selling drugs, inches closer to expiry.

Read the full press release below:

AbbVie Inc. and Allergan plc announced that the companies have entered into a definitive transaction agreement under which AbbVie will acquire Allergan in a cash and stock transaction for a transaction equity value of approximately $63 billion, based on the closing price of AbbVie's common stock of $78.45 on June 24, 2019.

"This is a transformational transaction for both companies and achieves unique and complementary strategic objectives," said Richard A. Gonzalez, chairman and chief executive officer, AbbVie. "The combination of AbbVie and Allergan increases our ability to continue to deliver on our mission to patients and shareholders. With our enhanced growth platform to fuel industry-leading growth, this strategy allows us to diversify AbbVie's business while sustaining our focus on innovative science and the advancement of our industry-leading pipeline well into the future."

"This acquisition creates compelling value for Allergan's stakeholders, including our customers, patients and shareholders. With 2019 annual combined revenue of approximately $48 billion, scale in more than 175 countries, an industry-leading R&D pipeline and robust cash flows, our combined company will have the opportunity to make even bigger contributions to global health than either can alone," said Brent Saunders, chairman and chief executive officer, Allergan.  "Our fast-growing therapeutic areas, including our world class medical aesthetics, eye care, CNS and gastrointestinal businesses, will enhance AbbVie's strong growth platform and create substantial value for shareholders of both companies."
Strategic Rationale.

New growth platforms and leadership positions to diversify and expand revenue base: The combined company will consist of several attractive franchises with leadership positions across immunology, hematologic oncology, medical aesthetics, neuroscience, women's health, eye care and virology.  Allergan's product portfolio will be enhanced by AbbVie's commercial strength, expertise and international infrastructure.

Immediate scale and enhanced profitability for AbbVie's growth platform: AbbVie's enhanced growth platform, comprised of growing and durable franchises across highly-attractive therapeutic areas, is expected to grow at a high-single digit annual growth rate well into the next decade, from more than $30 billion in 2020.

Financially attractive with immediate EPS accretion: This transaction is expected to be 10% accretive to adjusted earnings per share over the first full year following the close of the transaction, with peak accretion of greater than 20%.1  ROIC is expected to exceed AbbVie's cost of capital within the first full year.

Significant cash flow generation: The success and scale of the combined commercial business ensures funding capacity and flexibility for simultaneous robust pipeline investment, debt reduction and capital return to shareholders. The combined companies generated $19 billion in operating cash flow in 2018.

Structure and Governance

Upon completion of the transaction, AbbVie will continue to be incorporated in Delaware as AbbVie Inc. and have its principal executive offices in North Chicago, Ill.  AbbVie will continue to be led by Richard A. Gonzalez as chairman and chief executive officer. Two members of Allergan's Board, including chairman and chief executive officer, Brent Saunders, will join AbbVie's Board upon completion of the transaction.

Transaction Details

Under the terms of the Transaction Agreement, Allergan Shareholders will receive 0.8660 AbbVie Shares and $120.30 in cash for each Allergan Share that they hold, for a total consideration of $188.24 per Allergan Share.2 The transaction represents a 45% premium to the closing price of Allergan's Shares on June 24, 2019.

AbbVie anticipates that the Acquisition will provide annual pre-tax synergies and other cost reductions of at least $2 billion in year three while leaving investments in key growth franchises untouched. The synergies and other cost reductions will be a result of optimizing the research and early stage portfolio, and reducing overlapping R&D resources (~50%), driving efficiencies in SG&A, including sales and marketing and central support function costs (~40%), and eliminating redundancies in manufacturing and supply chain, and leveraging procurement spend (~10%). The synergies estimate excludes any potential revenue synergies.3
AbbVie is expected to generate significant annual operating cash flow, which will support a debt reduction target of $15 to $18 billion before the end of 2021, while also enabling a continued commitment to Baa2/BBB or better credit rating and continued dividend growth.

It is expected that, immediately after the closing of the Acquisition, AbbVie Shareholders will own approximately 83% of AbbVie on a fully diluted basis and the Allergan Shareholders will own approximately 17% of AbbVie on a fully diluted basis.

The transaction is subject to the Conditions set out in Appendix III of the Rule 2.5 Announcement, including certain regulatory approvals and approval by Allergan's Shareholders.

1. What are the strategic and financial benefits of this transaction?

This transaction achieves unique and complementary strategic objectives for both organizations. Combining Allergan's diversified on-market product portfolio with AbbVie's growth platform and deep expertise in R&D, commercial strength and international footprint will create a leading biopharmaceutical company with approximately $48 billion in combined 2019 revenue. This combination also enhances AbbVie's ability for robust investment in its industry-leading pipeline of innovative therapies throughout the next decade and enables AbbVie to deliver on its mission to better serve patients.

The financial benefits include immediate 10% earnings-per-share accretion over the first full year of the combination, with peak accretion of greater than 20%. The transaction will generate annual pre-tax synergies and other cost reductions of at least $2 billion in year three, with a return on invested capital to exceed AbbVie's cost of capital within the first full year.

2. When do you anticipate this transaction to close and what is the leadership structure for the new combined company?

We anticipate closing of the transaction by early 2020, subject to regulatory and Allergan's shareholder approvals. The combined company will continue to be incorporated in Delawareand have its principal executive offices in North Chicago, Ill. Richard A. Gonzalez will serve as the chairman and chief executive officer through the Humira loss of exclusivity in 2023.  AbbVie's Board will include two Allergan board members, including Allergan's chairman and chief executive officer, Brent Saunders.

3.  Does this transaction represent a change in your fundamental strategy for AbbVie?

This transaction enhances our ability to continue to advance our mission to develop a consistent stream of innovative medicines to create a remarkable impact on people's lives.  AbbVie will now have a more diversified product portfolio with several leadership positions in high value therapeutic areas and an industry-leading pipeline of next-generation therapies with ensured capacity for continued investment across our innovative pipeline.

4.  What is the benefit of doing a transaction of this size versus smaller bolt-on acquisitions?

This transaction is designed to meet a different strategic imperative than smaller bolt-on acquisitions. Its ability to deliver immediate scale to the AbbVie growth platform with Allergan's on-market diversified product portfolio meets our strategic goal to reduce reliance on Humira and allows us to continue expanding our focus on high-innovation science throughout the next decade.

Smaller bolt-on acquisitions provide opportunities for future growth, but also require significant R&D investment amid scientific and clinical uncertainty. This transaction offers immediate compelling financial and strategic value to our shareholders with a much lower risk profile.

5.  What is your level of confidence in your ability to operate the combined company given that it represents somewhat of a change in the mix of businesses from what AbbVie has been?

We are highly confident in our ability to enhance the value of Allergan's existing commercial franchises and capitalize on next-generation pipeline programs. AbbVie has a proven track record of industry leading financial performance and commercial expertise in building market-leading franchises in immunology, hematologic oncology, and other areas, and our geographic scale will enable us to unlock additional value in Allergan's franchises. Our senior leadership team is experienced in leading diverse businesses and we are confident in our future success.

6.  What are your plans for capital allocation for the combined company?  How do you intend to address the debt levels of the combined company?

The combined company will produce robust cash flow which will support continued growth of our dividend, further investment in our pipeline, and reduction of debt. We intend to reduce debt levels by $15-$18 billion by the end of 2021, with further deleveraging through 2023.

7.  What do you view as the largest risks associated with the transaction?

Any transaction of this magnitude involves a series of regulatory approvals and integration complexities. Both companies have organizations that are highly experienced at integrating businesses and we expect that process to be efficient and thorough.