Allergan has confirmed it is in talks with Pfizer about a merger.
In a statement on Thursday, the Botox-maker said it had been approached and was in “preliminary friendly discussions”.
A deal has not been finalized.
In a separate statement, Pfizer confirmed the talks, saying it would not comment on speculation about terms of a potential agreement.
After trading halts on both stocks were lifted, Allergan shares rose by as much as 8%, while Pfizer fell by about 2%.
The pharma industry is in the midst of a consolidation frenzy, as companies argue that combining resources would lower healthcare costs. They’re also seeking to remain competitive, after provisions made by the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare) heated up rivalry.
Earlier this year, Allergan agreed to sell its generic drug business to Israel-based Teva for $40.5 billion.
And, this is Pfizer’s second recent attempt to buy a big rival, following the failed bid for Anglo-Swedish group AstraZeneca, according to Reuters.
- REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Here’s Allergan’s full statement:
Allergan plc today confirmed that it has been approached by Pfizer Inc. and is in preliminary friendly discussions regarding a potential business combination transaction. Allergan stated that no agreement has been reached and there can be no certainty that these discussions will lead to a transaction, or as to the terms on which a transaction, if any, might be agreed. The company will not comment on speculation regarding the terms of a potential transaction.
Under any potential scenario with Pfizer, Allergan remains strongly committed to complete the proposed divestment of its global generics business to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd and expects the generics divestiture transaction to close in the first quarter of 2016.
A further announcement will be made when appropriate.