2022-12-11| M&A

Amgen Leads the Pack After Sanofi Drops Out of Horizon Bid

by Reed Slater
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After information leaked about a possible bidding war for Horizon Therapeutics between Sanofi, Amgen, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Global Services unit, Sanofi announced it withdrew from the action a week after Janssen did the same. Without the French pharma giant in the picture, reports say most fingers are pointing at Amgen to take over Horizon eventually.

Related Article: Amgen Lays Down $3.7 Billion For ChemoCentryx and its Autoimmune Portfolio

Horizon’s Potential Value in a Merger

With several multi-billion dollar deals in 2022 so far, including Amgen’s $3.7 billion purchase of ChemoCentryx, 2023 is shaping up to be just as active and exciting with Horizon as potentially the first big buyout of next year. According to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported on Amgen’s close proximity to the possible acquisition, the deal could exceed $20 billion. 

The money would not go to waste on Horizon, though, which already has an extensive portfolio of more than ten commercialized products and many more in its pipeline. Last year, the company posted net sales of $3.2 billion, a $1 billion increase over 2020. 

Subjects close to the matter suspect that Horizon’s thyroid eye disease treatment, Tepezza, and its newly-approved gout treatment, Krystexxa, would be the main products of interest in a takeover. Horizon recently increased its peak net sales expectations for Krystexxa to $1.5 billion after seeing some initial success with the drug. Likewise, it increased Tepezza’s annual net sales expectations to exceed $1 billion worldwide after a few years of success on the market. 

Despite Horizon’s increasing value, Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Global Services unit dropped out of the bidding war. Sanofi, which initially said it would make a cash offer for the company, said in its release that “transaction price expectations do not meet our value creation criteria.” 

Janssen took a similar route from the takeover conversation a week prior, pulling itself out of the bidding war. The company did say, however, that it reserves the right to set aside the statement within six months and resubmit a bid for the company. 

With Sanofi and Janssen out of the running, Amgen is the only serious suitor left to take over Horizon. A deal exceeding $20 billion could take a while to unfold, but it is very likely to see Horizon in Amgen’s hands sometime in 2023. 

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