Allergan, Actavis talk merger while Valeant gets the cold shoulder
- As it continues to stave off the $54 billion hostile takeover bid from Valeant, Allergan is in active talks with Activis regarding a potential merger.
- Allergan feels that Valeant's offer is insufficient, and things have gotten dicey as shareholders prepare to vote on board changes as a route to facilitate the merger. With activist investor Bill Ackman leading the way as a top investor, Valeant is still trying to acquire Allergan.
- For Dublin-based Actavis, best known for its generics and its AD drug, Namenda (memantine), acquisitions are an important part of its growth strategy.
Merger mania continues as deals blow hot and cold. Right now, things seem hot between Actavis and Allergan, and it is fairly clear that Actavis would never attempt a hostile takeover.
Actavis isn't just looking at Allergan, but also Salix Pharmaceuticals, which specializes in gastrointestinal drugs. For its part, Valeant continues to circle the Botox-maker like a shark going after fresh kill. On December 18, Allergan shareholders, including Bill Ackman, who is aligned with Valeant and owns 10% of Allergan's stock, will vote on changes to the Board of Directors. The outcome will provide a glimpse into how things will pan out for both companies in 2015.