Actelion a takeover target? Forget it, CEO says

Actelion

Forget whatever rumors you’ve heard about Actelion fending off takeover approaches from its larger rivals, CEO Jean-Paul Clozel says.

As the skipper told Bloomberg, Actelion hasn’t yet had to do any such thing--and it hopes it doesn’t going forward.

“We at Actelion--the board of directors, the management, the employees--are all building a company and not thinking about being sold the next day,” Clozel said. “If we want to continue to create shareholder value, the best for us is to remain independent.”

Clozel’s remarks come in the wake of a media report that cited the Swiss biotech as a potential buy for big guns Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson. But it’s hardly the first time the company has been thrown around as a deal target; it’s come up for years on industry watchers’ likely-to-be-bought lists, and its tax-advantaged locale sparked extra interest during the inversion craze.

Actelion, though, has made it clear time and again that it wants to fly solo--and lately, Clozel thinks that’ll be even easier to do. The drugmaker is becoming “more and more expensive” as its shares pick up steam, which they’ve done over the past year thanks to consensus-beating sales of the company’s heart meds.

But that doesn’t mean Actelion isn’t interested in making its own pickups. Though new meds Opsumit and Uptravi have already begun picking up some of the slack for aging star Tracleer, Actelion wouldn’t mind getting its hands on some new sources of revenue.

Don’t expect those pickups to be all that large, though, Clozel cautioned; when it comes to those, he’s not interested in competing with his Big Pharma rivals.

“With large-size acquisitions, we are falling into the hunting ground of large pharma companies, and they have very big pockets,” he said.

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