Controversial facelift for Pfizer
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Controversial facelift for Pfizer

24.11.2015 - After weeks of speculation it is official: US pharma major Pfizer and Irish Botox maker Allergan will merge. With the deal, Pfizer is planning to dodge the high US taxes, causing indignation among US politicians.

It is a deal in a league of its own. US$160bn (€150bn) will change hands, making it the largest tax inversion ever seen. Since Allergan was acquired by Irish Actavis late last year, the company has officially been headquartered in Dublin. In this Irish capital, corporate taxes are considerably lower than in the US. Officially, Dublin-based Allergan will acquire the larger Pfizer, only to turn around and rebrand as Pfizer plc – only now domiciled in Ireland and subject to the significantly lower Irish taxes.

The announcement of the deal caused outrage in the US, and US politicians across the political spectrum are crying foul. “For too long, powerful corporations have exploited loopholes that allow them to hide earnings abroad to lower their taxes. Now Pfizer is trying to reduce its tax bill even further. This proposed merger, and so-called inversions by other companies, will leave US taxpayers holding the bag,” commented presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton. The US Treasury Department’s has promised to make inversions much less profitable in future.

Pfizer, therefore, was eager to close the deal this year. Ian Read, CEO of the Viagra maker, said: “Allergan’s businesses align with and enhance Pfizer’s businesses, creating best-in-class, sustainable, innovative and established businesses that are poised for growth. Through this combination, Pfizer will have greater financial flexibility that will facilitate our continued discovery and development of new innovative medicines for patients, direct return of capital to shareholders, and continued investment in the United States, while also enabling our pursuit of business development opportunities on a more competitive footing within our industry.”

After the transaction, it is expected that former Pfizer stockholders will hold around 56 percent of the combined company and Allergan shareholders will own approximately 44 percent of the combined company.




23.11.2015 Amidst talk of the IPO window closing and cancelled flotations, diagnostics firms are still striking a chord with investors. Swedish Immunovia and German Curetis are successfully raising public money.


20.11.2015 French Sanofi and British AstraZeneca are giving open innovation a go: The two pharma giants will exchange thousands of compounds – for free.


19.11.2015 French gene editing company Cellectis has granted Servier the rights to bring cancer immunotherapy UCART19 to market. Servier in turn has teamed up with Pfizer to hurry development along.


17.11.2015 The first Italian accelerator specifically for biotech projects has been launched with help from Sofinnova Partners. The plan of BiovelocITA: to help Italy grow into one of Europe’s strongest biotech markets.


13.11.2015 Scientists in Bath, UK, have developed a medical dressing that turns fluorescent green when it detects infection. The researchers hope that the smart burns dressing will help fight antibiotic resistance.


13.11.2015 Out with the old: Roche is discarding four sites with 1,200 staff in an effort to restructure its manufacturing network for small molecules. Instead, a new manufacturing site will be built in Switzerland.


10.11.2015 Algae have many skills, but cancer fighting was not one of them – until now. Researchers from Australia and Germany have genetically engineered diatom algae to accurately deliver chemotherapeutic drugs.


10.11.2015 AstraZeneca has plucked Californian biopharma company ZS Pharma from under Actelion’s nose. The UK company is paying US$2.7bn (€2.5bn) to acquire ZS and its promising hyperkalaemia treatment currently under US regulatory review.


04.11.2015 What biotech stock market slump? Despite all odds, 2015 is set to become a new record year for the European public biotech sector, according to a BIOCOM-study presented at BIO Europe in Munich.

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No liability assumed, Date: 25.11.2015