UPDATE 1-Allergan CEO, fresh off one deal, sets sights on others

Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:12pm EDT
 
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(Adds Saunders interview)

By Caroline Humer

NEW YORK, July 27 (Reuters) - Allergan plc CEO Brent Saunders is ready to put the $36 billion his company will net from the sale of its generics business to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd to work, possibly with another large, "transformational" merger.

The readiness for a new transaction just after the Teva deal was announced on Monday represents what Saunders calls a strategy to remain nimble and open to opportunity as the healthcare sector remakes itself.

Saunders has already shown a penchant for quick deal-making. Just last year, he helped orchestrate the $25 billion sale of Forest Laboratories Inc, where he was CEO, to Actavis Plc.

As head of Actavis, he then sealed a $66 billion purchase of Botox-maker Allergan, beating out rival suitor Valeant Pharmaceuticals and its acquisition partner, hedge fund billionaire William Ackman.

The latest deal had just closed in March and Saunders was busy integrating the two companies under the Allergan name. At the time, he did not consider unloading the generics assets of Actavis.

"While I had a different strategy a few months ago, the thing that sets us apart ... is our strategy to be nimble," Saunders said in an interview.

Saunders now plans to use the proceeds from its $40.5 billion asset sale to Teva to increase the size of existing drug businesses, expand into new therapy areas and pursue larger deals.   Continued...