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Horizon attempts a hostile $3bn Depomed takeover

Published on 09/07/15 at 09:50am
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Depomed has rejected unsolicited bids for its shares from Horizon

Dublin-based specialty pharmaceutical company Horizon has launched a bid to buy Depomed for $3 billion.

Horizon, a biopharma company focussed on producing drug treatments for arthritis and other inflammatory diseases, say they have made repeated attempts for deal discussions with Depomed, which makes pain treatments and products treating conditions related to the nervous system.

The Irish firm believes the deal will increase sales for both organisations’ products while the five different Depomed drugs that are currently on the market would approximately double the size of their Horizon’s current portfolio.

Horizon bosses appear to be growing frustrated by their unsuccessful attempts, and insist that the offer is ‘highly compelling’ and offers “substantial long-term value for Depomed’s shareholders.”

Timothy  Walbert, who is chairman, president and chief executive of Horizon Pharma says: "Despite our repeated attempts, beginning in March, to engage Depomed's management and board of directors in friendly and confidential discussions, Depomed's management and board have refused to engage in discussions with us and rejected our proposal.

"We have elected to bring this proposal to the attention of Depomed's shareholders, who we expect, given the opportunity to understand the financial, strategic and operational benefits of this transaction will support it and will encourage their board and management to begin constructive discussions with us promptly with the goal of completing a negotiated transaction."

However the unsolicited bid was rejected by Depomed when it was first made in May, as Depomed says it “does not reflect the inherent value of Depomed in light of the company's standalone prospects…. and is not in the best interests of the company and its shareholders.”

Depomed say that the Horizon offer remains unchanged from the previous deal its board has twice rejected. The company argues that its own prospects are quite solid following its recent purchase of Johnson & Johnson's franchise, Nucynta (tapentadol) for over $1 billion in January

If the companies are capable of reaching an agreement, it would represent the latest in a string of deals for Horizon, who paid $660 million for Vidara Therapeutics International in 2014 and who also gained Hyperion Therapeutics for $1.1 billion early on in 2015. 

Yasmita Kumar

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