Philip Morris International, the tobacco maker and Marlboro cigarettes maker, has struck a £ 1 billion deal to buy Vectura, the UK pharmaceutical company developing a pioneering inhaled treatment for Covid-19.
Philip Morris International’s (PMI) £ 1.04bn offer, which is investing billions to move away from its main tobacco business, outweighs £ 958m deposited by the capital group -Carlyle investment in May. Vectura’s board had recommended shareholders accept Carlyle’s offer but withdrew its support for the offer after receiving the highest bid from PMI.
“We recognize the substantial increase in the price offered to shareholders as part of the acquisition over the Carlyle offer and have therefore recommended the acquisition to shareholders,” said Bruno Angelici, President of Vectura.
“The acquisition will provide our employees with the opportunity to form the backbone of PMI’s stand-alone inhalation therapy business unit, helping to develop products to improve patient lives and address unmet medical needs.
Vectura stock jumped over 12% to 153p on Friday morning, making it the biggest gain in the FTSE 250. PMI’s cash supply is 150p per share.
PMI, the maker of the world’s most popular cigarette brand, has invested more than $ 8 billion (£ 5.8 billion) to date in diversifying its business away from harmful tobacco products under a natural evolution towards a larger health and wellness business ”to“ speed up smoking cessation ”.
Last week, PMI spent $ 820 million to buy nicotine gum maker Fertin Pharma.
PMI aims to generate $ 1 billion in revenue from “beyond nicotine” products by 2025 and has identified respiratory drugs as a key goal. It aims to be “mostly smoke-free” by 2025, when tobacco revenues will be less than half of total revenues.
PMI has stated that Vectura will function as a “stand-alone business unit” and be the “backbone” of PMI’s inhalation therapy business.
“The market for inhaled therapeutics is large and rapidly growing, with significant opportunities to address unmet needs,” said Jacek Olczak, Managing Director of PMI. “By joining forces and investing our resources in the continued scientific excellence of our two companies, we can ensure critical capabilities to accelerate our long-term growth beyond nicotine products, which is a central strategic focus. for PMI. “