Johnson & Johnson to snap up Swiss biotech company Actelion for $30bn

Shruti Tripathi Chopra
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Johnson & Johnson is the world's biggest healthcare group, (Source: Getty)

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is snapping up Europe's biggest biotech company Actelion in a $30bn (£23.7bn) deal.

According to Dealogic, this is the biggest M&A deal announced so far in 2017 and the biggest acquisition on record by Johnson & Johnson.

J&J, which is the world's biggest healthcare group, is also funding a new research and development company headed by chief executive and founder Jean-Paul Clozel.

Actelion will spin out its drug discovery operations and early-stage clinical development assets into a newly created biopharmaceutical company that will be listed in Switzerland.

J&J is paying $280 a share in cash for the biotech giant

According to Reuters, the new Swiss-listed public company being created will be capitalised with one billion Swiss francs ($790m). J&J will own 16 per cent and hold rights to another 16 per cent while Actelion shareholders will get one share in the new company for every Actelion share.

Top 10 acquisitions by Johnson & Johnson

1. Actelion, $31.3bn

2. Synthes, $20.8bn

3.  Pfizer (consumer healthcare business), $16.6bn

4. ALZA Corporation, $14.9bn

5. Centocor Inc, $4.7bn

6. Abbott Medical Optics, $4.3bn

7. DePuy, $3.5bn

8. Vogue International, $3.3bn

9. Scios, $2.5bn

10. Crucell NV (77.34 per cent), $2.1bn

Source: Dealogic





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The deal gives J&J access to Actelion's range of rare-disease drugs including one to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension.

“We believe this transaction offers compelling value to both Johnson & Johnson and Actelion shareholders,” said Alex Gorsky, chairman and chief executive officer of Johnson & Johnson.

“Actelion has built an attractive, growing business with world-class commercial and clinical development capabilities. Adding Actelion’s portfolio to our already strong Janssen Pharmaceuticals business is a unique opportunity for us to expand our portfolio with leading, differentiated in-market medicines and promising late-stage products."

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