Given the current volatility of the stock market, it’s pretty brave to venture out into M&A action, but Bristol Myers Squibb says that it has been having discussions with Celgene for a number of months to consider the acquisition. At $74 billion, the cash-and-stock transaction is one of the richest ever in the global pharma industry, and promises to bring together two leading franchises in oncology: BMS’ Opdivo and Celgene’s Revlimid—both of which are starting to show their age.
According to a BMS statement, the combined entity would have 16 products in Phase III or nearing launch, and a further 50 products in its pipeline. Celgene’s developmental program is also notable for the addition of Juno Therapeutics, one of the new CAR-T genetic therapy companies, which it acquired for $9 billion last year.
BMS says that it expects to achieve cost synergies of $2.5 billion by 2022. Celgene has 7,500 employees; BMS, 24,000. The deal is expected to close in Q3.