Glaxo nabs Stiefel in $3.6B 'targeted' buy

One month ago today, we reported that Stiefel Laboratories had put itself up for sale. Among the rumored buyers: GlaxoSmithKline. As if to prove that sometimes gossip proves true, Glaxo has indeed snapped up the U.S.-based dermatology specialist in a deal valued at up to $3.6 billion. The price comprises $2.9 billion in cash, $400 million in debt assumption, and another $300 million in cash contingent on performance.

The plan, Glaxo says, is to combine its existing prescription dermatological products with Stiefel's business, which will then operate under the Stiefel name. Pro forma, combined sales would be about $1.5 billion for 2008, or about 8 percent of the global market for prescription skin drugs. Plus, Stiefel has more than 15 candidates in late-stage trials. Apparently, Witty thinks Stiefel's been doing a pretty good job, because he's keeping CEO and Chairman Charles Stiefel not only until the deal closes, but as the new business's chief after that.

"As part of our strategy to grow and diversify GSK's business, we are continuing to make new investments through targeted acquisitions," Glaxo CEO Andrew Witty said in a statement. "The addition of Stiefel's broad portfolio will provide immediate new revenue flows to GSK with significant opportunities to enhance growth through leveraging our existing global commercial infrastructure and manufacturing capability.

- read the Glaxo release
- check out the story in the New York Times