Ian Read may have shed all his responsibilities at Pfizer, but he clearly has no intention of retreating to a quiet retirement.
The former Pfizer CEO and executive chairman is joining The Carlyle Group's healthcare team as a deal scout, strategy mentor and operations guru.
“Read will play an active role in helping Carlyle’s healthcare team find compelling investment opportunities,” the private equity firm said in a statement Wednesday. He'll also advise Carlyle’s portfolio companies on “growth strategies, leadership and talent development, effective operations and risk management.”
For Read, the Carlyle job comes on the heels of his taking on a board seat at Viatris, the company formed by Mylan's merger with Pfizer’s established medicines business Upjohn. That deal is expected to close in mid-2020.
Read is no stranger to dealmaking. During his 10-year run as Pfizer’s CEO, he pulled off several major transactions, including the $14 billion buyout of Medivation in 2016 that gave the company blockbuster prostate cancer drug Xtandi. And as CFO before that, he oversaw Pfizer's 2009 megamerger with Wyeth.
Along the way, Carlyle points out, Read helped the New York pharma generate a total shareholder return of 250% and win 32 FDA approvals for new medicines.
Read said in a statement that he's excited to join “a world-class team of investment professionals who understand the complexities of pharma investing” and looks forward to leveraging his industry expertise at the private equity player.
Carlyle has invested more than $13 billion of equity in 50 healthcare transactions. One notable deal: Joining hands with Hellman & Friedman to take PPD private for $3.9 billion in 2011. Now, it's planning to take the CRO giant public again in an offering that could value it at around $9 billion.
In 2017, Carlyle teamed up with private equity investor GTCR to bring CDMO AMRI (Albany Molecular Research) private for $920 million. That same year, it formed an alliance with Pacific Equity Partners and bought out Australian pharma player iNova from debt-laden Valeant (now Bausch Health) for $930 million. Then in 2018, it worked with financial services firm Bourne Partners to launch acquisition-oriented Millicent Pharma with three former Warner Chilcott execs behind the wheels and Femring, a vaginal ring bought from Allergan, in its portfolio.
Read's following in the footsteps of ex-Wyeth chairman and CEO Robert Essner, who joined the private equity group in 2010, just as Pfizer was integrating Wyeth and Read was taking the reins as new CEO. Essner, who retired from Wyeth in 2008, joined the PE firm as a senior adviser to its global healthcare group and later became an operating executive.
Essner was still working in that capacity as of 2018, when he took on the executive chairman role at nanoparticle specialist Elucida Oncology and quickly named former Wyeth exec Geno Germano as the biotech’s CEO. But Essner’s name is now no longer listed on Carlyle’s website.
A FiercePharma request to Carlyle for confirmation didn’t immediately receive a reply.