- Drugmaker approached about six weeks ago, no talks ongoing
- New CEO Papa said this week company has ‘very good pipeline’
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. received a takeover approach about six weeks ago from a group led by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., according to people familiar with the situation.
The approach was rejected and no talks are currently ongoing, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private.
Valeant rose as much as 9.2 percent to $29.41 in trading Friday, and was trading 8.5 percent higher at $29.25 at 1:09 p.m. in New York. Takeda closed 0.1 percent lower in Tokyo.
Takeda teamed up with investment firm TPG on the proposal -- which didn’t include a firm price -- the Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday. The approach came before specialty drugmaker Valeant named its new chief executive officer, Joseph Papa, according to the report. The company brought in Papa this month as part of efforts to revive itself after its business model and drug pricing practices came under scrutiny.
Papa said Monday at the UBS Global Healthcare Conference in New York that Valeant has a “very good pipeline” of new drugs that hasn’t been fully appreciated. Papa also said he’d spent his first few weeks at the company getting acquainted with sales staff and understanding the company’s debt holders, a critical part of his job given that Valeant has more than $30 billion of bonds and loans.
Representatives for Valeant, Takeda and TPG declined to comment.
Valeant bought Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. last year, gaining access to a portfolio of gastrointestinal treatments, a disease area Takeda is focusing on. Osaka-based Takeda is Japan’s largest pharmaceutical company, and its chief executive officer Christophe Weber has repeatedly stated his ambitions to make the company a global leader in oncology and gastrointestinal treatments and to gain control of new drugs the company can develop to sell worldwide.
The Japanese drugmaker spent more than $21 billion on its two biggest acquisitions, buying Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc. to expand in cancer therapies in 2008 and Zurich-based Nycomed in 2011 to grow in emerging markets.
At the time of the takeover approach, Valeant’s share price had fallen 90 percent and the company was facing questions on its debt load and seeking to replace Michael Pearson as chief executive officer, the Journal story said. A deal with Valeant would have given Takeda access to Xifaxan, a potential blockbuster drug for irritable bowel syndrome.
TPG, whose main offices are in San Francisco and Fort Worth, Texas, has more than $70 billion under management and has invested in all sectors of health care, including hospitals, biotechnology firms and insurers.