(Reuters) – Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries said it would buy U.S. biopharmaceutical firm Auspex Pharmaceuticals Inc for an equity value of $3.5 billion to boost its portfolio of treatments for the central nervous system.
Teva, the world’s largest maker of generic drugs, will offer $101 per share in cash, representing a premium of 42.4 percent to Auspex’s Friday closing price, the companies said on Monday.
In February Teva said it was ready to return to making acquisitions after a year focused on cutting costs under its new chief executive, Erez Vigodman.
This is the first major deal for Vigodman, a turnaround specialist brought in last year to reduce costs and improve profit that had been squeezed by rising competition.
Teva said it expected the deal, to be financed with cash on hand, to add to revenue from 2016 and to adjusted earnings per share beginning in 2017. It will be “meaningfully accretive” thereafter, Teva added.
Teva estimated sales of $2 billion from Auspex products in 2020. It expects minimal dilution to adjusted EPS in the second half of 2015 and 2016.
Shares in Auspex were up 41.7 percent to $100.5 in early trade, while Teva shares were up 1 percent at $62.6.
The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of Teva and Auspex and key shareholders of California-based Auspex have entered into agreements indicating their support for the transaction. Teva, Israel’s biggest company, expects the transaction will close in mid-2015.
Auspex’s main product, SD-809, is being developed for the treatment of chorea, an abnormal involuntary movement associated with Huntington’s disease, tardive dyskinesia and Tourette syndrome. SD-809 for Huntington’s is expected to win regulatory approval and be launched commercially in 2016, Teva said.
An estimated 30,000 people in the United States suffer from Huntington’s, 350,000 from tardive dyskinesia and 150,000 from Tourette, for which the drug is in early stage trials. Auspex has another drug being developed for Parkinson’s disease.
Michael Hayden, Teva’s chief scientific officer, said Auspex’s technology “could represent a significant breakthrough for patients who often have no sustainable symptom relief from their disease”.
Goldman Sachs is acting as exclusive financial adviser to Teva and J.P. Morgan Securities is the exclusive financial adviser to Auspex.