Pfizer acquires Array in oncology focused deal

BY Richard Summerfield

Pfizer Inc is to acquire Array BioPharma Inc in a deal with a total enterprise value of $11.4bn, pending customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

Pfizer has agreed to pay $48 per share in cash for each Array share held. The agreed price represents a 62 percent premium over Array’s closing price on Friday. The deal is expected to complete in the second half of 2019.

The deal will significantly improve Pfizer’s pipeline of drugs in the increasingly profitable oncology space. Array’s product portfolio includes two drugs in more than 30 clinical trials for different kinds of cancer, particularly colorectal cancer, which, the companies said, is the third most common form of cancer in the US.

“Today’s announcement reinforces our commitment to deploy our capital to bring breakthroughs that change patients’ lives while creating shareholder value,” said Albert Bourla, chief executive at Pfizer. “The proposed acquisition of Array strengthens our innovative biopharmaceutical business, is expected to enhance its long-term growth trajectory, and sets the stage to create a potentially industry-leading franchise for colorectal cancer alongside Pfizer’s existing expertise in breast and prostate cancers.”

“We are incredibly proud that Pfizer has recognised the value Array has brought to patients and our remarkable legacy discovering and advancing molecules with great potential to impact and extend the lives of patients in critical need,” said Ron Squarer, chief executive at Array . “Pfizer shares our commitment to patients and a passion for advancing science to develop even more options for individuals with unmet needs. We’re excited our team will have access to world-class resources and a broader research platform to continue this critical work.”

“We are very excited by Array’s impressive track record of successfully discovering and developing innovative small-molecules and targeted cancer therapies,” said Mikael Dolsten, chief scientific officer and president of worldwide research, development and medical at Pfizer. “With Array’s exceptional scientific talent and innovative pipeline, combined with Pfizer’s leading research and development capabilities, we reinforce our commitment to advancing the most promising science, regardless of whether it is found inside or outside of our labs.”

Array is expected to generate $274m in revenue this year, and that figure is expected to pass $1bn by 2022.

News: Pfizer makes $10.6 billion cancer bet in cash deal for Array Biopharma

Dassault Systèmes and Medidata Solutions agree $5.8bn merger

BY Richard Summerfield                                                                                           

French software company Dassault Systèmes is to acquire American firm Medidata Solutions in an all-cash deal worth $5.8bn.

Dassault will pay $92.25 per share for Medidata, a price which represents a slight discount to the company’s closing price of $94.75 on 11 June, the day before the deal was announced. However, it also represents a premium of 6.6 percent to Medidata’s 50-day average price of $86.50 over the last 50 days.

“Today marks a significant milestone for the Life Sciences industry and the value of the virtual world to address the complexity of developing personalized medicine and patient-centric experiences. Multidiscipline scientific innovation and industrial performance call for a platform approach connecting the dots between people, ideas and data,” said Bernard Charlès, vice chairman and chief executive of Dassault Systèmes.

He continued: “Medidata’s leading position in clinical trials complements our life sciences solutions on the 3DEXPERIENCE collaborative platform. Medidata’s recent expansion into real world evidence and analytics coupled with the power of modelling and simulation demonstrates how the virtual world will catalyze the next generation of patient-inclusive therapeutics. We are now well positioned to be the enabler of the Life Sciences industry transformation, illustrating our company’s purpose of harmonizing product, nature and life.”

The deal for Medidata will strengthen Dassault’s position in the life sciences sector and boost earnings from 2020 onward, Medidata noted in a statement announcing the deal.

“Our mission to get the right treatment, to the right patient, at the right time has fueled our 20-year journey of innovation and commitment to the life sciences industry,” said Tarek Sherif, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Medidata. “We share common vision, values and passion with Dassault Systèmes, and our combined talents will empower the life sciences industry with an end-to-end business platform.”

“Facilitating new therapeutic innovations to become the next standards of care has been our commitment since day one,” said Glen de Vries, co-founder and president of Medidata. “Ultimately, we will unlock enormous opportunities for our customers and patients, advancing life sciences in the age of precision medicine.”

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019, subject to certain regulatory approvals, approval by the majority of Medidata’s shareholders and other customary closing conditions.

News: Dassault Systemes targets life sciences with $5.8 billion Medidata deal

Blackstone acquires US logistics assets from GLP in $18.7bn deal

BY Fraser Tennant

In a deal which is the largest-ever private real estate transaction globally, multinational private equity (PE) firm Blackstone has acquired three US logistics assets from transportation solutions provider GLP for $18.7bn.

The transaction totals 179 million square feet of urban, infill logistics assets – almost double the size of Blackstone’s existing US industrial footprint. Drilling down, Blackstone will acquire 115 million square feet for $13.4bn and its income-oriented non-listed real estate investment trust (REIT) – Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust (BREIT) – will acquire 64 million square feet for $5.3bn.

One of the leading owners of logistics properties, Blackstone’s real estate business has approximately $140bn in investor capital under management. It operates around the globe with investments and people in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America. The firm has acquired over 930 million square feet of logistics globally since 2010.

“Logistics is our highest conviction global investment theme today, and we look forward to building on our existing portfolio to meet the growing e-commerce demand,” said Ken Caplan, global co-head of Blackstone Real Estate. “Our global scale and ability to leverage differentiated investment strategies allowed us to provide a one-stop solution for GLP’s high quality portfolio.”

Singapore-based GLP is a global investment manager with $64bn assets under management (AUM) in real estate and PE funds. Its real estate fund platform is one of the largest in the world, spanning 785 million square feet.

“GLP was able to leverage our deep operating expertise and global insights in the logistics sector within four years to build and grow an exceptional portfolio,” said Alan Yang, chief investment officer of GLP. “We are proud of the business our team built and are confident it will continue to flourish under Blackstone’s leadership. We are looking forward to expanding our footprint in the US to continue to seize key opportunities in the US market.”

Frank Cohen, chairman and chief executive of BREIT, concluded: “These properties are a complementary addition to our stabilised commercial real estate portfolio, which is oriented toward our highest conviction themes, such as logistics.”

News: Blackstone bets big on Amazon, e-commerce with $18.7-billion acquisition

Fusion Connect files for Chapter 11 following double-merger

BY Fraser Tennant

Following the failure of its MegaPath and Birch Communications’ acquisitions to meet performance projections, cloud computing provider Fusion Connect, along with its US subsidiaries, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Last year, Fusion borrowed $680m, including senior lender loans, to acquire the cloud and business services businesses of Birch and MegaPath. However, the acquisitions piled on more debt than Fusion could repay.

In addition to its bankruptcy filing, Fusion has entered into a restructuring support agreement (RSA) with lenders. Fusion’s two Canadian subsidiaries are not included in the Chapter 11 filing.

While it proceeds with its bankruptcy filing and RSA, Fusion’s businesses are operating as usual. Its bankruptcy filing is designed to allow it to maintain its employee wage and benefit programmes, customer and agent programmes, and vendor payments for goods and services delivered in the ordinary course of business.

“Our lenders have provided us with funding during this process and we are pleased to share that our lenders have agreed to provide us with additional financing that will total $59.5m,” wrote Matthew Rosen, chief executive of Fusion Connect, in a letter to the company’s partners. “Along with Fusion’s usual cash flows, this will ensure that we will be able to operate our business as usual and fulfil our commitments to our valued customers and other stakeholders.

Mr Rosen also stated that Fusion is committed to paying all commissions in full and on time, and will continue to deliver the same portfolio of advanced cloud communications and secure managed services.

In May 2019, Fusion lost its listing on the Nasdaq because it failed to file its annual stockholder report on time.

Going forward, Fusion‘s management team and advisers have stated they will consider bids for the company’s US, as well as its Canadian operations. However, the company has made it clear that it does not intend to sell off individual assets. Any sale would need to be approved by the bankruptcy court.

Mr Rosen concluded: “We continue to measure our success by your success, and as we strengthen our financial position, we fully expect to find even more ways for us to sell, compete and grow together.”

News: Fusion Files Bankruptcy 13 Months After Cloud Computing Mergers

Cypress Semiconductors sold in $10bn deal

BY Richard Summerfield

Cypress Semiconductors is to be acquired by Infineon in a $10bn deal, including debt, the companies have announced.

The cash offer of $23.85 per share represents a 46 percent premium to Cypress’ share price over the last month. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close by the end of 2019 or in early 2020. The companies expect the merger to generate around $180m in cost synergies.

The combined company will be the world’s eighth largest chipmaker and the largest suppler of chips to car and vehicle companies. The purchase has been underwritten by a bank consortium. Infineon expects that approximately 30 percent of the $10bn price tag will be financed through equity, while the rest will be managed through debt and cash on hand reserves.

“The planned acquisition of Cypress is a landmark step in Infineon’s strategic development,” said Reinhard Ploss, chief executive of Infineon. “We will strengthen and accelerate our profitable growth and put our business on a broader basis. With this transaction, we will be able to offer our customers the most comprehensive portfolio for linking the real with the digital world. This will open up additional growth potential in the automotive, industrial and Internet of Things sectors. This transaction also makes our business model even more resilient. We look forward to welcoming our new colleagues from Cypress to Infineon. Together, we will continue our shared commitments to innovation and focused R&D investments to accelerate technology advancements.”

“The Cypress team is excited to join forces with Infineon to capitalize on the multi-billion dollar opportunities from the massive rise in connectivity and computing requirements of the next technology waves,” said Hassane El-Khoury, president and chief executive of Cypress. “This announcement is not only a testament to the strength of our team in delivering industry-leading solutions worldwide, but also to what can be realized from uniting our two great companies. Jointly, we will enable more secure, seamless connections, and provide more complete hardware and software sets to strengthen our customers’ products and technologies in their end markets. In addition, the strong fit of our two companies will bring enhanced opportunities for our customers and employees.”

News: Infineon revs up auto business with $10 billion Cypress deal

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