February 5, 2018 / 2:18 PM / 8 months ago

BUZZ-Aralez Pharma: Up as H.C. Wainwright starts with buy

** Canadian drugmaker’s U.S.-listed shares up 4.8 pct after H.C. Wainwright starts with “buy” and $6 PT

** Brokerage says Aralez 3 core advantages include a broad lineup of branded products, rapidly-growing heart disease drug Zontivity and experienced management team led by industry veteran and turnaround specialist Adrian Adams

** Brokerage notes Adams’ successful sale of Sepracor to Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma in 2009 and subsequent sale of Auxilium Pharma to Endo International in 2014

** Aralez has a tax-advantaged domicile (Ireland, with a 12.5 pct statutory corporate tax rate), which may make it attractive to acquirers, analyst Raghuram Selvaraju writes

** Selvaraju also cites “case study for commercial savvy” on ARLZ’s turning around Zontivity since acquiring it from Merck , multiple additional growth drivers in portfolio and says ARLZ’s valuation appears depressed due to debt overhang

** All 3 analysts covering ARLZ rate it the equivalent of “buy”, according to Thomson Reuters data

** ARLZ up nearly 18 pct so far in 2018 after 3 years of losses, incl 68 pct in 2017 (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru)

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