Baxalta may have a new M&A-based strategy for spurning Shire
- After rejecting Shire's $30 billion offer last month, Baxter spinoff Baxalta is taking on the role of pursuer, reportedly exploring a bid for Ariad Pharmaceuticals.
- Ariad, which is based in Cambridge, MA, makes Iclusig, a leukemia treatment, and has a market cap of roughly $1.7 billion.
- Baxalta CEO Ludwig Hantson is standing by his commitment to not be acquired by Shire and has expressed bafflement at Shire's interest despite what Hantson considers a lack of synergies between the two companies.
For Baxalta, acqusition of Ariad would bolster the firm's oncology offerings, which is one of two key areas of focus.
The other area of focus is hematology. Before Baxter spun off Baxalta, it completed a $900 million purchase of the leukemia treatment Oncaspar from Sigma-Tau Finanziaria, an Italian company. Supposedly, Baxalta and Ariad are currently in talks regarding a merger.
While that is not a completely confirmed fact, one thing that is clear is that Baxalta has not reconsidered its rejection of Shire's $30 billion offer. In fact, Hantson considers the offer a "lowball valuation," a thought that he shared with shareholders during an investors' call.
As for Ariad, there have been murmurs that the company is possibly looking for a partnership or merger of some sort. This situation is still very much in play.