BY Richard Summerfield
Generic and speciality drug company Mylan N.V. has been in an acquiring mood for some time. In November the firm attempted a hostile takeover of rival drug manufacturer Perrigo, offering $26bn but being rebuffed.
However, last week Mylanannounced a deal for Swedish drug maker Meda for $9.9bn, including $2.7bn worth of existing debt. The agreed price for Meda’s shares – SKr165 per share – was more than double the company’s closing price of SKr86.05 on the day before the deal was announced.
Once completed, the transaction will see the combined company boast more than 2000 products including brand-name drugs, generics and over-the-counter medicines. The firm will have a presence in more than 165 countries.
“This transaction builds on everything we have put in place around the world, including our recent acquisition of the Abbott non-US developed markets specialty and branded generics business. Meda brings us greater scale, breadth and diversity across products, geographies and sales channels, and together we will have an even stronger global commercial infrastructure,” said Mylan’s chief executive, Heather Bresch.
But the acquisition has met with dismay among Mylan’s shareholders, partly because Mylan has offered more than 12 times Meda’s EBITDA. Analysts have suggested that the company may have been better off using the cash for other means, such as buybacks.
Following the announcement of the deal, shares of Mylan traded in the US plummeted, eventually closing down 18 percent at $41.42. The company also posted fourth quarter earnings last week, which were sluggish and lagged behind market expectations.
Meda’s shareholders, however, expressed their satisfaction at the transaction. Shares in the company, which are traded in Stockholm, rose 70 percent to $17.41. The company’s largest shareholders, Stena Sessan Rederi AB and Fidim S.r.l., which collectively own 30 percent of Meda, have already accepted the deal.
Despite the concerns of Mylan’s shareholders, and the high transaction value, the acquisition could make strategic sense in the long term, according to a number of analysts and industry observers. Mylan will significantly enhance its position in a number of key markets, including China, Russia and Southeast Asia.
Ms Bresch moved quickly to dismiss fears that the company had overpaid for Meda, “It will take a little time for everyone to catch up with the opportunity,” she said. “I think over the next days and months the value will be realised."
News: Mylan to Acquire Meda