Transactions 1999: Dealmaking for the New Economy
The number of early-stage deals plummeted as large drug companies fought their way through mergers and other late-stage deals designed to boost near-term earnings. Drug companies also looked to mergers to build up sales forces and, by building bigger-selling products, to compensate for the lack of R&D productivity. Meanwhile, biotechs, with valuations at record levels, looked to find deals that would allow them to keep the upside of their products and move their share prices up.
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Despite the increasingly common perception of the helpless mega-merged giant, vastly increased scale can provide such companies with significant competitive advantages, from which companies were unwilling or unable to benefit in the past. The largest companies, structured properly, should be able to discover disproportionately more compounds; develop them faster; and market them more successfully. But to reap these benefits, the super heavyweight pharmas will, paradoxically, have to learn how to think small.
Sue Nabi’s success at L’Oreal, where she headed the firm’s global L’Oreal Paris and Lancome businesses, her skin-care savvy as founder of the luxury, “clean, green and vegan” Orveda, and her experience as a career champion of diversity were major draws for Coty, where she begins as CEO on 1 September.
Chief executive Eric Hobbs talks about the technology needed to accelerate antibody, cell therapy and synthetic biology, and prepare for the next pandemic.