To­bi­ra chair­man’s din­ner with Brent: In­dus­try chat led to a 3-month pur­suit and a stun­ning $1.7B deal

It start­ed with din­ner last sum­mer in New York.

Al­ler­gan CEO Brent Saun­ders broke bread with To­bi­ra Chair­man Den­nis Podle­sak and a board mem­ber, Do­main’s Eckard We­ber on June 21. Some­time be­fore the dessert cart rolled, the con­ver­sa­tion turned from var­i­ous in­dus­try top­ics to To­bi­ra’s lead drug.

It end­ed a few days ago, af­ter Saun­ders was re­peat­ed­ly prod­ded to keep up­ping an of­fer to buy the com­pa­ny, start­ing at $310 mil­lion in cash and $740 mil­lion in con­tin­gent val­ue rights. And even though the lead NASH drug sub­se­quent­ly failed a key study, Saun­ders even­tu­al­ly jumped in­to a bid­ding war for To­bi­ra, agree­ing to pay a jaw-drop­ping pre­mi­um to bag the biotech for $595 mil­lion and a CVR pack­age worth $1.1 bil­lion.

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