BMS-Celgene mega-merger receives shareholder nod

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Seb_Ra)
(Image: Getty/Seb_Ra)

Related tags Bristol-myers squibb Celgene Opdivo Revlimid

The $74bn deal appeared to be fraying around edges, as certain shareholders voiced dissent, but a vote saw the deal pass with support from more than 75% of investors.

The stakes over Bristol-Myers Squibb $74bn (€65.4bn) to acquire Celgene were high and the scale of the deal sparked nerves among some investors​ in the former company.

With its largest investor, Wellington Management, publically questioning the deal, it appeared that BMS could have struggled pushing through the deal.

However, on the day of the shareholder vote, this was not the case, and Wellington’s 8% stake was not enough to derail the deal. BMS announced​ that over 75% of its shareholders had voted in support of the transaction.

Giovanni Caforio, CEO of Bristol-Myers Squibb said, “Together with Celgene, we will create a premier innovative biopharma company with leading scientific capabilities that is well positioned to address the needs of patients through high-value innovative medicines.”

At the time of the initial announcement​ made on the deal, BMS pointed toward the deal as being one method of bolstering its pipeline.

BMS suggested that the combined company would have six near-term launches that could bring in $15bn of revenue. This increased revenue would help to mitigate projected difficulties for the lead products at both companies:

BMS’ Opdivo (nivolumab) witnessed sales growth of 33% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2018 but has seen its sales be overtaken by its main rival​ in the field, Keytruda (pembrolizumab).

Celgene’s Revlimid (lenalidomide) achieved sales of $9.6bn across the full year of 2018, but could face generic competition prior to the expiration of its patents in 2023. Several companies have already reached agreements with Celgene for the limited entry of generic competitors in 2022​.

BMS stated that the completion of the deal is still expected during the third quarter of this year.

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