Astrazeneca, Gilead Could Be In Merger Talks Amid Race to Find Covid19 Vaccine


Market sources suggested that the UK’s Astrazeneca could have approached US-based Gilead in a possible merger move. The terms of any negotiations have not been disclosed, although discussions could have been preliminary and unofficial, according to Bloomberg. A hypothetical merger would result in the world’s largest Health-Care group. In dollar terms, AstraZeneca’s capitalisation is 141 bn$, with the stock price appreciating 41% in the last twelve months. Meanwhile, Gilead’s capitalisation stands at 96 bn$ and its share price has gained 19% in the same period. Everything points to Gilead preferring to develop very promising drugs on its own, in fields such as HIV or COVID-19. But it is true that two firms’ pipelines (portfolio of products under development) are very complementary. The UK pharmaceutical stands out in the areas of oncology, cardiovascular, metabolism and respiratory. Both companies declined to make official comments.

In the opinion of Renta4, “although they are not in formal talks, the rumours can be interpreted by the market as a sign that the industry is returning to normal.”

Bankinter’s experts say the merger would be one of the ten biggest corporate deals of all time.

“We see a good strategic fit with this possibility. If it materializes, it would lead to a teaming up between the discoverer of Redemsivir (a treatment against COVID-19 with express approval in the US and North Korea) and AstraZeneca’s huge worldwide manufacturing capacity.”

In addition, UK pharma company has just signed an agreement with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Gavi the Vaccine Alliance to support the manufacture and distribution of 300 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine. The programme is worth 750 M$ and will start at the end of the year. The goal is to produce up to two billion doses.

About the Author

The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.