AstraZeneca To Buy Rare-Disease Specialist Drugmaker Alexion For $39 Billion

AstraZeneca To Buy Rare-Disease Specialist Drugmaker Alexion For $39 Billion

AstraZeneca plc (AZN) has announced it will buy Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN), a Boston-based drugmaker, for $39 billion.

What Happened

British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Boston-based Alexion said this morning that their boards unanimously approved the deal. It is expected to close in the third quarter of next year. Alexion shareholders will own about 15% of the new company. The shareholders will receive $60 in cash and 2.1243 AstraZeneca American Depositary Shares for each Alexion share, or about $175 a share, the companies said.

Why It Matters

The companies said this will make AstraZeneca stronger in immunology and in making drugs to fight rare diseases. The British drugmaker is among the companies vying to get its COVID-19 vaccine to market, though it has been beaten to the punch by Pfizer Inc. (PFE) and its German partner BioNTech SE – ADR (BNTX).

Paul Singer's activist investor hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. this year has been pushing Alexion to sell, criticizing Alexion's earlier acquisition of San Francisco-based Portola.

Price Action

AstraZeneca's shares closed out the week at $54.27, up 0.24%. Alexion closed the week at $120.98, up 1.04%. Its shares are up 7.57% this calendar year.

© 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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