E Valeant Edges Up 15% After Announcing That It Will Acquire Salix

Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) has agreed to buy drug maker Salix Pharmaceuticals (SLXP) for $10.4 billion dollars in cash. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015, which would definitely add a huge amount of value for Valeant. Currently, Valeant specializes in oral, skin, and eye drugs. The Salix acquisition will add gastrointestinal drugs to its pipeline. In fact, Salix received FDA approval for three of its drugs back in 2014, and is currently seeking FDA approval for its top selling product xifaxan for irritable bowel syndrome. 

Valeant is well known for purchasing many biotechs at the expense of a small Research and Development department. Just the other week, for example, it acquired Dendreon Corp (DNDN) assets for its prostate cancer vaccine in a $495 million dollar deal. Earlier last year, however, it attempted to acquire drug maker Allergan (AGN) – which is the maker of the all-popular botox injection – but the deal never went through. This is due to the fact that Allergan has a large research and development program, which is undesirable to a company like Valeant which is looking to acquire de-risked commercial drug products.

Valeant acquires pharmaceutical companies, and subsequently helps increase the sales of the drugs with their sales force. For this specific reason, Allergan decided against selling itself to Valeant, and was later bought by Actavis (ACT) for $66 billion dollars in a cash and stock deal. This deal between Actavis and Allergan is expected to close sometime in 2015. Valeant says the Salix acquisition will enable both companies to save $500 million dollars over the next 6 months by reducing corporate costs. In addition, Valeant is taking on Salix’s debt, which, when coupled together with its own debt, combines for $31 billion dollars in overall debt. Valeant is expected to continue acquiring pharmaceutical companies that it believes will add value to its long-term acquisition strategy. Whether this strategy works in the long run remains to be seen.

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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