AstraZeneca To Buy Rare-Disease Specialist Drugmaker Alexion For $39 Billion

AstraZeneca plc AZNhas announced it will buy Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ALXN, a Boston-based drugmaker, for $39 billion.

What Happened: British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Boston-based Alexion said this morning that their boards unanimously approved the deal. It is expected to close in the third quarter of next year. Alexion shareholders will own about 15% of the new company. The shareholders will receive $60 in cash and 2.1243 AstraZeneca American Depositary Shares for each Alexion share, or about $175 a share, the companies said.

Why It Matters: The companies said this will make AstraZeneca stronger in immunology and in making drugs to fight rare diseases. The British drugmaker is among the companies vying to get its COVID-19 vaccine to market, though it now has been beaten to the punch by Pfizer Inc. PFE and its German partner BioNTech SE – ADR BNTX.

Paul Singer's activist investor hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. this year has been pushing Alexion to sell, criticizing Alexion's earlier acquisition of San Francisco-based Portola.

Price Action: AstraZeneca's shares closed out the week at $54.27, up 0.24%. Alexion closed the week at $120.98, up 1.04%. Its shares are up 7.57% this calendar year.

Posted In: BiotechM&ANewsGeneral

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