NEW YORK -- Actavis (IW 1000/500) Monday announced plans to acquire Botox-maker Allergan (IW 500/171) for $66 billion, creating a global pharmaceutical behemoth and likely ending the aggressive pursuit of Allergan by Canada's Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (IW 1000/679).
The combination creates a heavyweight in opthalmology, neurosciences and medical aesthetics that will be among the 10 biggest global pharmaceutical companies by sales, according to a joint Actavis-Allergan statement.
Valeant, which had joined hands with New York activist shareholder William Ackman in chasing Allergan, said it would not match Actavis's offer of $219 per share.
"We have seen the announcement that Allergan and Actavis have made, and while we will review any such agreement in determining our course of action, Valeant cannot justify to its own shareholders paying a price of $219 or more per share for Allergan," Valeant CEO Michael Pearson said.
"We will establish an unrivaled foundation for long-term growth, anchored by leading world-class blockbuster franchises and a premier late-stage pipeline that will accelerate our commitment to build an exceptional, sustainable portfolio," Actavis CEO Brent Saunders said.
Monday's transaction is subject to shareholder votes by both Actavis and Allergan. Allergan shareholders were scheduled to vote December 18 on a Valeant proposal to replace the Allergan board.
The companies expect the deal to close in the second quarter of 2015.
By John Biers
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014