Last fall, the Financial Times managed to get heads to turn when it quoted sources saying that Amgen was looking for an acquisition worth up to $10 billion. It would be a buyout that was directly product/sales related. And it was no coincidence that the tempting key figure was almost exactly what it paid to get Onyx in 2013.
We’re still waiting for that big acquisition.
The Big Biotech’s last M&A deal hit last fall, when it picked up Dezima, a CETP acquisition with a $300 million upfront that landed just ahead of another late-stage CETP fiasco at Eli Lilly. That pretty much fit the bill for all of Amgen’s M&A work since Onyx landed.
But don’t count Amgen $AMGN out. Practically all of the Big Biopharmas are rumored to be hunting up a buyout of some kind and Amgen is no exception.
Amgen CFO David Meline stirred that pot again in yesterday’s Q2 call with analysts, suggesting that its deals team is actively engaged in hatching some kind of buyout in a highly competitive arena.
Here’s his intriguing comment about M&A:
We’re not the only people out there who are in the market looking for opportunities. So I think the point for us is we need to make sure that we first of all look at things as to the scientific insight that we can bring to bear, including with our insight from a human genetic perspective. And then secondly, we are very clear that we’re going to be disciplined in terms of the financial returns that we can expect. And we’re interested in doing deals that will create returns for Amgen, not just the seller. So we continue to be active and we’ve got a number of pretty interesting prospects that we think could come to closure, including still this year.
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