Valeant-Takeda Talks Said off
Talks between Valeant and Takeda about a takeover of Valeant’s Salix subsidiary for $10 billion have broken down amid disagreements over price, among other things, according to the US business newspaper Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The paper initially broke the news about talks between the Canada-headquartered, US managed drugmaker and the Japanese pharmaceutical producer. As a reason for the breakdown it said Takeda, which has “tried multiple times” to get its hands on Salix, did not want to pay Valeant’s asking price.
While WSJ said there is still a chance that talks could be restarted, Valeant has already begun to move forward with plans to build up Salix on its own. With the deal’s failure, the North American player will lose the chance to pay down a good chunk of its $12 billion in bank loans resulting from its recent frenetic M&A activity. Overall, the company is said to be carrying a debt burden of $31 million.
In a statement released on Nov. 29, Valeant announced it planned to increase its sales force for products acquired with last year’s for $11 billion purchase of Salix. It said the focus will be on primary care prescribers of the antibiotic Xifaxan (rifaximin) for irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D) and Relistor (methylnaltrexone bromide) for opioid-induced constipation (OIC). The company said the "significant sales force expansion" will occur over the coming weeks.
WSJ noted that the Valeant portfolio has underperformed lately, compounding the drugmaker’s already pressing problems, including investigations by various authorities. A former company executive and the former CEO of Valeant-linked specialty pharmacy Philidor recently were charged with engineering a multimillion-dollar fraud and kickbacks scheme in the US. Additionally, the Salix takeover has been under scrutiny by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Takeda, which is said to be under pressure in its home market, is seen as interested in buying companies in the US and Europe to pick up new drug franchise for treating stomach diseases, cancer and other medical problems.