Allergan, a pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturer giant in its own right, has been generating a whole lot of buzz since Canadian-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals made what can only be described as a hostile bid for the company's acquisition at the end of April.
Allergan is perhaps best known for its botulinum toxin product which is tantamount to the Kleenex of the neuromodulator world, BOTOX. The company also manufactures breast implants, and has a market capitalization of nearly $50 billion and reported $6.3 billion in sales in 2013.
On April 22nd, Valeant Pharmaceuticals made an unsolicited bid to purchase Allergan for a cool $47 billion, which would essentially merge two mid-sized pharmaceutical companies. According to analysts, this move is highly unusual as activist investors typically buy stakes and then agitate for strategic change.
While Allergan has said little of the offer, except to say that it is reviewing it carefully, they have reached out to other pharma companies (including Sanofi, Johnson & Johnson, and Bayer) to see if there is interest elsewhere for a merger, which would make an acquisition by Valeant difficult, if not impossible.
Valeant has been on an acquisition tear as of late, acquiring health-care companies and then lowering overhead to turn a profit. Most recently, they acquired eye-care giant Bausch and Lomb for $8.7 billion. And who can forget their acquisition of Botox's primary competitor, Medicis (manufacturer of Dysport) in 2012? The cutting of overhead came quickly after that acquisition, with Medicis employees who were being sacked being given black envelopes while those whose employment was ongoing were given white manila folders.
How will the companies that Allergan approached respond. Will Valeant sweeten their offer to make it a deal too good to resist. While it's not clear at this juncture how Allergan will respond to the offer, it is evident that they are treading carefully and are not acting too quickly.