Though it's been more than two weeks since the big Pfizer-Wyeth deal went public, it's still heating up the airwaves with news. Given that it's a seismic shift in the pharma market, we suppose the talk is warranted. Here are the latest tidbits:
- Over the weekend, the Associated Press had a lengthy interview with Pfizer chief Jeff Kindler (photo) about the deal. The company has learned from the mistakes it made in its previous mega-mergers, particularly about how to make sure R&D doesn't suffer, he told the wire service. Plus, he's spent two years splitting Pfizer into smaller units, which will make the it easier to combine with Wyeth.
- Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. may have to recuse himself from the big pre-emption case. He's a Pfizer shareholder, so he's stepped back from related cases in the past. Now that Pfizer is buying Wyeth, it has a vested interest in Wyeth's value--and by extension, a direct-and-vested interest in the outcome of Wyeth v. Levine. You'll recall that Diana Levine lost her arm after she got Wyeth's Phenergan by IV; Levine says Wyeth didn't adequately warn of that danger, but Wyeth says that federal law should pre-empt that state claim.
- UBS Investment Research upgraded both Pfizer and Wyeth to "Buy" from "Neutral." That's on the strength of the combo deal. Apparently analyst Roopesh Patel thinks Wyeth will boost Pfizer's bottom line, if not its revenues. And he has no doubt the deal will close. Wyeth's new price target: $50, up from $38.
- So just how much will the top five Wyeth execs get when they bow out of the Pfizer-Wyeth combo? A grand total of $75 million. BNet reports that CEO Bernard Poussot (photo) is in line for $18 million under a change-of-control agreement, while former chairman Robert Essner gets $24 million. No such luck for the researchers who transferred out of the Ann Arbor, Mich., campus just last year, moved across the country, and now are getting layoff notices. Or Madison, N.J., which got $1.24 million in taxes off Wyeth last year and is now justifiably worried whether it will see any of that revenue post-merger.
More is sure to come.
- get the AP interview with Kindler
- see BNet Pharma's piece on the pre-emption case
- read more on Roberts in DealBook
- see the BusinessWeek upgrade story
- check out the article on Wyeth's execs at BNet