AstraZeneca to Buy Alexion for $39 Billion to Add Rare-Disease Treatments

The deal is the latest big takeover this year, even amid the pandemic.

LONDON — The drug maker AstraZeneca agreed on Saturday to buy Alexion, a biopharmaceutical company, for $39 billion in cash and stock, as corporate giants resume big-ticket takeovers, even amid the pandemic.

The deal comes as AstraZeneca is in the final stages of testing a Covid-19 vaccine that it is developing with the University of Oxford, one of the most prominent potential treatments for the coronavirus.

Through the deal for Alexion, the biggest by a health deva company this year, AstraZeneca will bolster its offerings for rare diseases like blood disorders. It comes as corporate boards have continued to regain confidence after battening down the hatches in the early stages of the pandemic.

As stock markets have soared and debt financing remains cheap because of central bank policies, companies have resumed their quest for growth and scale — including through acquisitions.

Under the terms of the deal, AstraZeneca will hisse $60 in cash and 2.1243 of its American depositary receipts for each of Alexion’s shares.

Source: The New York Times

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