Sanford B. Steever, Editor
Gretchen S. Swanson, Analyst
Fax: 203-846-8300

NORWALK, CT – March 25, 2010 – During the 10-years ended December 31, 2009, a total of 1,345 mergers and acquisitions of pharmaceutical assets and pharmaceutical companies were announced, with disclosed prices totaling more than $694 billion, according to GlaxoSmithKline was responsible for the largest of the pharmaceutical mergers and acquisitions this past decade: GlaxoWellcome announced a $74 billion merger with SmithKline Beecham in 2000, resulting in the entity now known as GlaxoSmithKline.

Pfizer, Inc. announced two of the largest pharmaceutical mergers and acquisitions of the decade, including its $68 billion acquisition of Wyeth, Inc. in 2009 and its $56 billion acquisition of Pharmacia Corporation in 2002. Five of the pharmaceutical companies that were acquired in the past 10 years posted revenues in the tens of millions at the time of acquisition: SmithKline Beecham, Wyeth, Aventis, Pharmacia and Schering Plough. Further, in all but one of the 55 largest pharmaceutical mergers and acquisitions announced during the past decade—each of which is valued at a price exceeding $1.5 billion—the target is a revenue-producing pharmaceutical company.

In all of the top 25 of the largest pharmaceutical mergers and acquisitions announced during the 10 years ended December 31, 2009, the targets were represented by publicly traded, revenue-producing pharmaceutical companies. Most of the 25 largest pharmaceutical mergers acquisitions announced in the past 10 years feature an acquirer that made five or more deals during the decade ended December 31, 2009, including Pfizer.  In addition to Pfizer, these pharmaceutical acquirers include Abbott Laboratories, Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. Teva Pharmaceutical acquired Barr Pharmaceuticals for $8.96 billion in 2008 and Teva Pharmaceutical acquired Ivax Corporation for $7.96 billion in 2005. Abbott Laboratories acquired Solvay Pharmaceuticals for $7.6 billion in 2009 and Abbott Laboratories acquired Knoll Pharmaceutical for $7.2 billion in 2000. Johnson & Johnson acquired Pfizer’s consumer health care unit for $16.6 billion in 2006 and Johnson & Johnson acquired ALZA Corporation for $12.3 billion in 2001.

Three of the top 25 pharmaceutical mergers and acquisitions announced in the past decade were announced during 2009: in addition to Pfizer’s acquisition of Wyeth and Abbott Laboratories’ acquisition of Solvay Pharmaceuticals, 2009 saw Merck & Co.’s acquisition of Schering-Plough Corporation for $41.1 billion. The mega-deals that comprise the top 25 pharmaceutical mergers and acquisitions of the past decade were announced at the rate of one or two per year from 2000 to 2004, but from 2005 to 2009 increased to the rate of three to four per year. Other notable deals announced in 2000 through 2009 include Sanofi-Synthelabo’s $65.5 billion acquisition of Aventis in 2004 and Bayer AG’s $21.5 billion acquisition of Schering AG in 2006.

Geographically, for the decade ended December 31, 2009, the states of California, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, and outside the United States, the countries of Canada, England, Germany, Switzerland and France, are home to the acquirers in the greatest numbers of deals. The targets were geographically concentrated in the United States in California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, Texas, Florida, Washington and North Carolina, and in countries outside the United States, in England, Canada, India, Japan, Germany, Ireland and France.

Pharmaceutical Mergers and Acquisitions, 2000 to 2009


Dollar Total

Number of Deals































10-Year Total




Information in this press release is based on data drawn from, an online publication of Irving Levin Associates, Inc. Online and available 24/7 at, is a database of current and historic health care mergers and acquisitions, with deal summaries on more than 15,000 mergers and acquisitions since 1993 in the following sectors: Behavioral Health Care; Biotechnology; e-Health; Home Health Care; Hospitals; Laboratories, MRI and Dialysis; Long Term Care; Managed Care; Medical Devices; Pharmaceuticals; Physician Medical Groups; Rehabilitation; and Other Health Care Services. Deal summaries include details such as deal terms, target and acquirer contact information (including e-mail addresses), and price to revenue multiples. Searching is free. Visit for a login. Data is immediately available for download or to print, with a credit card or the purchase of a subscription. Certain Irving Levin Associates, Inc. print publications include special online access to the database for subscribers. Call 1-800-248-1668 for details on subscription options, or email

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