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News, Business

Allergan secures large investor after failed Pfizer deal

Activist investor Mr Carl Icahn has acquired a "large position" in Allergan following a significant drop in the company's shares. The decline in value occurred after Allegan's US$160 billion (AU$217.9 b) buyout deal with Pfizer fell through.
Carl Icahn, Allergan investor
Carl Icahn, Allergan investor

Allergan shares rose US$0.09 (AU$0.12) to US$236.03 (AU$321.39) in afternoon trading on 31 May, having risen to US$242.35 (AU$330) earlier in the day. Allergan shares are down 23 per cent over the past year.

Allergan's chief executive officer, Mr Brent Saunders, is no stranger to Mr Icahn's backing. Amid a campaign several years ago to inject new blood into the board of US pharmaceutical company Forest Laboratories, Mr Icahn and his supporters helped bring Mr Saunders in to take over from long-time chief Mr Howard Solomon.

"Less than a year later, Forest was acquired by Actavis [now Allergan], resulting in massive gains for Forest shareholders," Mr Icahn said on 31 May.

The payoff from his Forest investment apparently has Mr Icahn back looking for more from Mr Saunders.

"[We] still have always maintained great respect for Brent," Mr Icahn said. "We have every confidence in Brent's ability to enhance value for all Allergan shareholders."

Allergan said on 31 May that it "has no reason to believe that this investment was made for purposes of influencing the actions of management or control of the company".

Earlier in May, Allergan announced a US$10 billion (AU$13.6 b) buyback plan, funded by the proceeds from its generics-unit sale to Teva. When that deal closes this month, Allergan is expected to reap US$36 billion (AU$49 b) in cash.

Besides the buyback, Mr Saunders is set to deploy that cash in a deal-making campaign. He's said he's shopping for "tuck-in" deals that beef up Allergan's key franchises in ophthalmology, dermatology, neurology and gastrointestinal disorders.


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