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Pharma M&A: Big Deals of Early 2024

Written by : Nikita Saha

July 6, 2024

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The first half of 2024 has been transformative for the pharmaceutical sector, highlighted by major acquisition deals. Key players such as Sun Pharma, AstraZeneca, Bayer, and Novo Nordisk have strategically expanded their portfolios through significant mergers and acquisitions, reshaping the industry landscape.

This article delves into the noteworthy acquisition deals that have defined the first half of the year:

Top Pharma M&A Deals

Let’s revisit the major pharmaceutical deals that happened in the first half of 2024:

Sun Pharma’s Buying Spree

Global Pharmaceutical player, Sun Pharma to acquire a 16.33% stake in Michigan-based Surgimatix Inc for $3.05 million. The drugmaker revealed on February 20 through a disclosure to the exchanges.

By investing in Surgimatix, Sun Pharma aims to enhance its portfolio and contribute to advancements in healthcare technology.

The Indian drugmaker also signed a definite merger agreement to wholly acquire its Israeli subsidiary Taro Pharmaceutical Industries for a deal of $347.73 million.

As per the merger deal, Sun Pharma agreed to acquire all outstanding ordinary shares of Taro Pharmaceutical which were not earlier owned by the company or its affiliates for $347.73 million, which is approximately INR 2,891.76 Cr, in cash.

Japan’s ONO Pharma Acquired Deciphera Pharma

In May, Japan’s leading pharmaceutical company, ONO Pharmaceutical acquired Deciphera Pharmaceuticals, a prominent biopharmaceutical company in the US.

This strategic acquisition is expected to boost ONO Pharmaceuticals' portfolio and strengthen its position in the global pharmaceutical market. Deciphera Pharmaceuticals, known for its R&D in drug discovery, will offer its expertise to ONO Pharmaceutical. However, the terms of the agreement have not been disclosed yet.

AstraZeneca’s Series of Deals

Global drugmaker AstraZeneca to acquire rare endocrine diseases-focused firm Amolyt Pharma for $1.05 billion in cash, to boost its pipeline for rare diseases, particularly hypoparathyroidism. Reportedly, the deal is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2024.

On the other hand, it has successfully acquired Fusion Pharmaceuticals, a Canadian clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation radioconjugates (RCs) for $2.4 Bn.

The strategic acquisition aligns with AstraZeneca’s aim to transform cancer treatment and outcomes for patients by replacing traditional regimens such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy with more targeted treatments.

Bayer Pharma Concluded JV with Zydus Lifesciences

While In May, Germany’s Bayer Pharma acquired the remaining 25% stake, in its joint venture with Ahmedabad-based Zydus Lifesciences for INR 282.2 Cr ($33.8 million)

With this, the 50:50 JV that Bayer Zydus Pharma, created in 2011 for the sales and marketing of pharmaceutical products in India finally reached completion. Bayer now acquired full ownership of the entity, as per pre-agreed JV terms.

Novo Nordisk Acquired Cardior Pharmaceuticals for €1 Bn+

The Danish pharmaceutical major, Novo Nordisk agreed to acquire Cardior for up to 1.025 billion euros, including an upfront payment and additional payments if certain development and commercial milestones are achieved.

This move seeks to strengthen Novo Nordisk’s pipeline of projects in cardiovascular disease.

Here is a table showing pharmaceutical acquisitions from January 2024 to June 2024

Strategic Funding Highlights

Apart from mergers and acquisitions, the first half of 2024 also saw significant investments in the sector. Let’s delve into the major funding secured by pharmaceutical giants.

Piramal Group’s subsidiary, Piramal Alternative, invested INR 110 Cr in Biodeal Pharmaceuticals to enhance infrastructure, technology, and nutraceutical manufacturing.

This trend of strategic investments continued with Fosun Pharma Industrial Pte, a subsidiary of Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical, planning to reduce its stake in Gland Pharma by 5%, equating to $172 million. The divestment was executed through block deals, offering 8.2 million shares at a floor price of INR 1,750 per share, reflecting a 4.9% discount to the previous closing price.

In a similar vein, Tata Capital Healthcare Fund II injected approximately $20 million into Orbicular Pharmaceutical Technologies, a Hyderabad-based company specializing in complex generics for global markets.

While Torrent Pharmaceuticals also eyed substantial growth by planning to raise INR 5,000 Cr through equity shares and convertible bonds via a qualified institutional placement (QIP).

Further highlighting the sector’s dynamism, Cipla committed up to INR 26 Cr in Achira Labs through optionally convertible preference shares, distributed in four tranches. Meanwhile, Maiva Pharma, based in Tamil Nadu, raised INR 1,000 Cr from Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia and India Life Sciences Fund – IV (ILSF–IV).

Ending Note

In summary, the first half of 2024 has been marked by impactful acquisition deals within the pharmaceutical sector. These strategic moves by industry giants not only enhance their market positions but also signal a commitment to innovation and growth.


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