Will Amylin buy favor AZ's Simon Lowth in CEO contest?

Analysts have been slicing and dicing the Bristol-Myers Squibb-slash-AstraZeneca deal for Amylin Pharmaceuticals. How much can the Big Pharma partners increase sales of Amylin's diabetes treatments? How much money can they save by joining forces?

But The Financial Times is looking at the deal as a career coup for AstraZeneca's ($AZN) interim CEO Simon Lowth. Engineering the joint buyout with Bristol-Myers ($BMY) gives Lowth a boost in the contest to replace the recently retired CEO David Brennan, the FT figures.

The Amylin ($AMLN) deal strengthens Lowth's rep, showing that he wants to control costs and maintain AstraZeneca's dividend, both important to investors, the paper says. Analysts at Leerink Swann appear to agree: "In our opinion, the Amylin transaction is a step in the right direction on a long road and an important first step for Simon Lowth's candidacy as AstraZeneca's permanent CEO."

AstraZeneca's new chairman, Leif Johansson, is leading the search for a replacement CEO. He recently told the FT that he backs the dealmaking approach to rebuilding the company's fortunes. Obviously, Lowth agrees.

- read the FT story