Following is a list of the 25 largest merger and acquisition (M&A) deals disclosed in 2013 by drug developers, tools/tech companies, and CROs, ranked by deal value in U.S. dollars. Each acquired company is listed along with its acquirer or prospective acquirer, the price, the status of the deal—has it been completed, or simply announced?—and the percentage premium of the deal price to investors.
Most 2013 deals involved big biotechs, and even several big pharmas, snapping up smaller biopharmas. While the year did have a few multibillion-dollar blockbusters, led by Thermo Fisher Scientific’s $13.6 billion buy of Life Technologies (still pending at deadline), that deal was the only one to run into 11 figures. But the next 19 deals on the list ranged from $1 billion–$9 billion, which shows that big deals were alive and well in 2013, if not the uber-deals of recent-past years like Roche-Genentech and Sanofi-Genzyme.
Also interesting is how few of the deals combined upfront and milestone payments at the top of the list, and how many did so further down the rankings. While five of the top 25 and six of the top 30 deals included contingent payments, so too did six of the 10 deals ranked between No. 31 and No. 40—probably because the smaller deals involved less mature companies with promising product, but at earlier clinical stages still fraught with uncertainty over trial results, then regulatory action.
The list does not include M&A deals whose value was not disclosed—such as the AstraZeneca/MedImmune acquisition of AlphaCore Pharma, an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based biotechnology company focused on the development of ACP-501, a recombinant human lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) enzyme. AstraZeneca was involved in five other deals that surfaced in 2013; the biggest was its up-to-$4.3 billion purchase of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s diabetes development operations. AZ’s acquisitions last year included Pearl Therapeutics, Amplimmune, Omthera, and Spirogen, for a combined more-than $1.3 billion upfront, and $1.225 billion in potential payments tied to milestones.
Another example of a company busier in deals than the list shows is Shire. In addition to ViroPharma ($4.2 billion), the biotech shelled out $160 million plus possible future milestones for SARcode, and did not disclose prices for Premacure and Lotus Tissue repair.