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European Biopharmaceutical Review

A Record-Breaking US$27 Billion of Biotech Deals Supports Strong Pharma M&A Activity in 2001

The value of pharmaceutical mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in 2001 almost doubled to US$61 billion from US$34 billion in 2000 (excluding the US$76 billion formation that year of GlaxoSmithKline), bucking the significant downward trend witnessed in most other sectors. The number of deals remained stable at 334 in 2001, compared with 341 in 2000. In a period where most industries have experienced at least a 25 per cent downturn in M&A activity, the pharmaceutical sector has maintained its deal-making momentum. The aggregate value of deals is down because 2001 witnessed no mega-mergers to rival the prior year combination of Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham. But with Amgen's US$17 billion bid for Immunex, plus a further US$10 billion of biotech deals in 2001, the foundations are being laid for a Big Biotech sector that will increasingly compete with Big Pharma.


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Neal Ransome, Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance

Neal Ransome is European leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers' Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Corporate Finance team. He has over 10 years' experience of corporate finance transactions, and has been focusing on the pharma and health care sectors since 1997. Neal's clients in the sector have included large pharmacos such as GlaxoSmithKline and Aventis, emerging companies such as Powderject and a wide range of smaller clients in the health care and biotech sectors.
Neal has also acted for a large number of private equity clients in the sector, including 3i, Warburg Pincus and Mercury. The European team which he leads comprises approximately 20 professional staff, located in all key financial centres, and combines corporate finance experts with recruits from the industry.

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