Versicor/Biosearch Italia: Merging as Equals
Versicor had wanted to buy its partner Biosearch Italia for more than a year prior to July's deal. But it had to wait for its market capitalization to fall closer in line with that of the Italian biotech so that the transaction could qualify as a "merger of equals."
You may also be interested in...
The Vicuron acquisition auction, won by Pfizer, starkly revealed the fact that the biggest Big Pharmas have now got a striking advantage in their ability to access new products. Not only do they have more cash than anyone else, they can spend it without hurting the "adjusted" profits they highlight to Wall Street. As importantly, investors don't punish them on the basis of the expected returns from these investments. Indeed, the market expects them to spend the money-for now.
Sanofi-Aventis stands apart from most other Big Pharma mergers. Granted, it shares many of the same drivers as previous tie-ups: looming patent expiries and hunger for size. But the unashamed political intervention, which helped turn one of the most vocal bidding wars from bitterly hostile to friendly overnight, was quite extraordinary. It points to the still delicate balance in France between commercial freedom and nationalistic pride; more importantly though, its effects may hamper Sanofi-Aventis' success on the global stage.
In October 2003, infectious diseases start-up Arrow Therapeutics' £21 million funding round from four new international VCs and five existing backers topped the ranks of UK biotech fundraisings. The round shows that investors value a broad pipeline, plus well-connected management able to balance focus with opportunism, more than a product in the clinic or a sexy new technology.