Novartis AG (NVS) to Focus on Mid-Sized Deals; Will Have Budget of $4B and Will Not Sell Assets: CEO
1/8/2013 8:25:30 AM
Novartis AG (NOVN) will limit deals to $4 billion this year and won’t sell assets such as its money-losing vaccines unit, Chief Executive Officer Joe Jimenez said. “I don’t think we need a big acquisition in the short term,” Jimenez said in an interview at the JPMorgan Chase & Co. health conference in San Francisco. “You may see us do more bolt-ons,” that would range “between $2 billion and $4 billion, not more than that.” The Basel, Switzerland-based drugmaker wants to grow its generics business by adding respiratory and dermatology products as well as injectable cancer therapies, Jimenez said. The Swiss drugmaker may do more transactions similar to last year’s $1.5 billion acquisition of closely held Fougera Pharmaceuticals, which allowed it to gain generic skin medications. Novartis, Europe’s second-biggest pharmaceutical company, is on the prowl for assets that will help it fill revenue holes left by expired patents. Jimenez is facing declining sales of Diovan, a medicine for blood pressure that lost patent protection in the U.S. last year. The company’s cancer treatment Gleevec will start losing patent protection in the U.S. in 2015 and in Europe in 2016.