Pfizer To Merge Again, This Time With Allergan

Pharmaceuticals: Controversial megamerger capped eventful year for drug industry

Lisa M. Jarvis

 Pfizer CEO Ian Read (left) and Allergan CEO Brent Saunders standing in front of Pfizer’s New York City headquarters on the day their companies’ merger was announced. Credit: Brent Saunders on Twitter

Pfizer CEO Ian Read (left) and Allergan CEO Brent Saunders standing in front of Pfizer’s New York City headquarters on the day their companies’ merger was announced.

Credit: Brent Saunders on Twitter

Valued at $160 billion, Pfizer’s proposed merger with Allergan is one for the record books. Announced in November, it is the year’s largest pharmaceutical deal, will create the drug industry’s biggest player, and is the most-audacious-ever tax inversion, a financial maneuver in which a U.S. company lowers its taxes by buying a smaller overseas firm and shifting its headquarters abroad. The announcement capped a year of heavy merger activity. Specialty pharmaceutical firms tried to outgrow one another while big drug companies competed for assets in areas such as cancer immunotherapy. That hunger for assets contributed to a healthier environment for young biotech companies, which were funded at record-high levels in 2015. For more on the year in pharmaceuticals, see C&EN’s Dec. 7/14 issue.

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