The total of $167 billion for global pharmaceutical takeovers in 2008 is a record high, according to a Bloomberg report. The most dramatic acquisition attempt was for ImClone Systems (New York), which began with Bristol-Myers Squibb's
(BMS, New York) unsolicited offers of $60, then $62 per share for the 83% of the company it did not own. BMS was rejected
twice, with ImClone Chairman Carl C. Icahn calling the second offer "absurd," claiming another company had offered $70 per
share. Icahn wasn't bluffing, and in October, revealed Eli Lilly's (Indianapolis) offer of $6.5 billion, or $70 per share.
Roche (Basel) picked up Ventana Medical Systems (Tucson, AZ) in January for approximately $3.4 billion. Roche attempted to
buy Genentech (South San Francisco, CA), which rejected the initial offer of $89 per share, or $43.7 billion, in August. Many
analysts believe a takeover is inevitable, however, with Roche to offer as much as $100 per share.
Among the other deals this year are Takeda's (Osaka, Japan) $8.9-billion takeover of Millennium Pharmaceuticals (Cambridge,
MA). Fresenius (Bad Homburg, Germany) acquired APP Pharmaceuticals (Schaumburg, IL) for $3.7 billion. Sanofi-Aventis (Paris)
won over Zentiva's (Prague) board of directors in September with a $2.6-billion bid after its offer of $2.4 billion was rejected.
Daiichi Sankyo (Tokyo) purchased a 63.9% stake in Ranbaxy Laboratories (Gurgaon, Haryana, India) for $4.1 billion. Teva's
(Jerusalem) $7.5-billion acquisition of Barr (Montvale, NJ) is expected to close by year's end. Expect big acquisitions to
continue as companies look for ways to compete with generics while increasing their market share.
Alexis Pellek is an assistant editor of Pharmaceutical Technology.