With CEO Ian Read aiming to slim Pfizer ($PFE) down after it bulked up on big mergers, it should come as no surprise that he'd eschew big deals going forward. But large mergers have been such a big part of Pfizer's recent history that Read's pledge to avoid them is making headlines.
Just consider the last decade or so: Pfizer bought Warner Lambert in 2000 for $90 billion. Three years later, it was Pharmacia for $60 billion. Then in 2009, Pfizer turned around and swallowed Wyeth in a $68 billion deal. All that was plenty to make Pfizer the poster child for mega-dealmaking.
Of course, Read wasn't in charge then, and he appears to have a different perspective. "We are not going to chase revenue at the destruction of capital," the Pfizer chief told Bloomberg. "We have geographic breadth, we have portfolio breadth, we have technology breadth...I don't see why we would need that."
Pfizer will instead look for licensing deals and scout for companies with mid- to late-stage drug candidates, Read told the news service. Its consumer health business could get a boost from bolt-on deals that bring OTC meds compatible with its existing product lines, CFO Frank D'Amelio said. As D'Amelio told Bloomberg, "To the extent that we can continue to supplement that business to make it better, we will."
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