Pfizer finalises Hospira takeover

Pfizer said Thursday that it completed its roughly $17-billion acquisition of Hospira, giving its global established pharmaceuticals (GEP) business "a leadership position in the large and growing sterile injectables category." Pfizer CEO Ian Read remarked "through this transaction, we've created value for our shareholders by delivering incremental revenue and expected [earnings-per-share] growth in the near-term by strengthening our GEP business and positioning it for future growth."

John Young, who heads the GEP division at Pfizer, said the merger also creates "a leading global biosimilars company with a robust pipeline...development capabilities and extensive real-world commercialisation experience." Hospira launched its biosimilar version of Johnson & Johnson and Merck & Co.'s Remicade (infliximab) in major European markets earlier this year under the name Inflectra. Meanwhile, Pfizer noted that its manufacturing capabilities now include two of the largest sterile injectable production plants in the world, which along with its commercial and R&D expertise, allow it to "maximise the global potential of its enhanced GEP portfolio of sterile injectables, biosimilars and medication management systems."

The drugmaker said it still expects the transaction will result in an immediate boost to earnings, adding $0.10 per share to $0.12 per share in the first full year after closing, with additional accretion anticipated thereafter. Pfizer also projects $800 million in annual cost synergies from the acquisition by 2018. Meanwhile, the company indicated that it plans to revise its 2015 guidance in the weeks ahead to "reflect the anticipated contribution from Hospira operations."

The transaction obtained the last of its regulatory clearances late last month with approvals from the US Federal Trade Commission and authorities in Brazil.

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