Celgene and Receptos agree $7.2bn merger

BY Richard Summerfield

On 14 July, Celgene Corp announced that it had agreed to acquire Receptos Inc in a deal worth approximately $7.2bn. The deal continues the trend of major M&A deals in the healthcare sector which has seen more than $250bn worth of M&A since January.

According to the terms of the deal, Celgene will pay $232 per share to acquire Receptos. The agreed price represents a 12 percent premium to the company’s closing price on the day the deal was announced. The transaction was made public after the markets had closed.

By acquiring Receptos, Celgene has gained access to the company’s valuable pipeline of products, most notably its treatment for multiple sclerosis and ulcerative colitis, ozanimod. The drug is currently in late-stage clinical trials with approval possible in 2018 for multiple sclerosis and the following year for ulcerative colitis. According to data from Celgene, ozanimod could generate peak sales of around $6bn annually.

“The Receptos acquisition provides a transformational opportunity for Celgene to impact multiple therapeutic areas,” said Robert J. Hugin, chief executive of Celgene, in a statement announcing the deal.

Celgene too has an impressive portfolio of products, the most prominent of which is the company’s blockbuster cancer treatment Revlimid.

As a result of deal speculation, Receptos has seen its market value nearly double since the turn of the year. AstraZeneca, Gilead Sciences and Teva were all rumoured to be interested in acquiring the company, although none were able to agree a deal.

For Celgene, the acquisition represents business as usual. The company has developed a reputation for M&A transactions to buy up smaller companies or licence their product lines. In 2014, the firm paid $710m to Irish firm Nogra Pharma to gain access to GED-03010, a treatment for Crohn’s disease. In June, the company invested $1bn in Juno Therapeutics, an organisation which manufactures experimental cancer medication.

According to Celgene’s statement, the deal for Receptos will impact the company’s earnings per share up to and including 2017. It will be neutral to earnings per share the following year and add to earnings from 2019 onwards. Celgene intends to finance the deal via a combination of existing cash on hand and new debt. The company intends to raise around $5bn in a bond offering in August.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2015.

News: Celgene to buy Receptos for $7.2bn; gains promising drug

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