AstraZeneca share price: Drugmaker wraps up respiratory franchise deal

on Nov 3, 2014
Updated: Apr 9, 2020
Listen, Monday, November 3: AstraZeneca Plc (LON:AZN) has completed its strategic transaction with Spain’s Almirall (BME:ALM), the FTSE 100 drugmaker has said. The deal, announced earlier this year, is intended to boost the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker’s respiratory franchise.

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In other AstraZeneca news, The Sunday Times yesterday reported that some analysts believed that the FTSE 100 pharma group should still remain at the top of Pfizer Inc’s (NYSE:PFE) shopping list.
AstraZeneca’s share price has been little changed so far in today’s session, having lost 0.09 percent to 4,539.50p as of 09:54 GMT.
*h*AstraZeneca completes Almirall deal*h*
AstraZeneca announced today in a statement that it had completed the strategic transaction to transfer the rights to Almirall’s respiratory franchise to the company, including rights to revenues from the Spanish group’s partnerships, and its pipeline of investigational novel therapies.

The FTSE 100 drugmaker announced the transaction in July in an effort to boost its respiratory portfolio. (AstraZeneca share price: Respiratory portfolio boosted with $2bn deal)
In today’s statement, AstraZeneca confirmed that it would pay Almirall approximately $875 million (£547 million) of initial consideration, subject to adjustment for working capital, and up to $1.22 billion (£762 million) in development, launch and sales-related milestones. The Anglo-Swedish group has also agreed to make various sales-related payments.

“Respiratory disease is one of our company’s key therapeutic areas,” AstraZeneca’s chief executive Pascal Soriot commented in the statement.
*h*Pfizer return prospects*h*
The Sunday Times yesterday quoted Andrew Baum, pharma analyst at Citigroup, as saying that there were “always other targets Pfizer could go after, but I think Astra Zeneca is head and shoulders above any other M&A candidate on the table”.

The comments come after Pfizer last month announced an $11 billion share buyback, fuelling speculation that it did not have significant acquisition plans.
Citigroup’s Baum, however, argued that the share buyback held ‘zero significance’ in the context of a possible fresh move on AstraZeneca. Pfizer, which failed to acquire the UK’s second-largest drugmaker in May, can return with a new bid after November 26, following the expiry of the six-month cooling-off period.

In the months since AstraZeneca rejected Pfizer, however, the US Treasury introduced new regulations to clamp down on tax inversion deals, with the move prompting US drugmaker AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) to drop its proposed £32 billion purchase of London-listed Shire (LON:SHP). (Shire share price: AbbVie officially terminates merger offer) The new measures are expected to have eroded the appeal of AstraZeneca for Pfizer, which was looking to lower its tax bill alongside acquiring the FTSE 100 company’s pipeline of lucrative new drugs.
The Sunday Times, however, quoted Pfizer’s boss Ian Read as saying last week that inversions still remained a key weapon in his deals armoury.
 “We still believe, on a case-by-case basis, there is meaningful value to be had from [them],” Read noted during a conference call with analysts and investors to discuss quarterly earnings.
**As of 10:25 GMT, buy AstraZeneca shares at 4531.00p.**
**As of 10:25 GMT, sell AstraZeneca shares at 4525.00p.**


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