(Bloomberg) — AstraZeneca Plc agreed to buy Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $39 billion in cash and shares, adding a specialist in treatments for rare diseases and immunology to its portfolio of medications for cancer and other illnesses.
The offer values Alexion at $175 a share, a 45 percent premium to the closing price on Friday. It would be the largest deal for AstraZeneca since it was founded in a combination of British and Swedish drugmakers in 1999.
Acquiring Alexion would bolster AstraZeneca in areas such as the treatment of blood disorders, building on Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot’s turnaround. Since taking over in 2012 he has pushed the U.K. drugmaker further into lucrative areas such as oncology. AstraZeneca, along with the University of Oxford, has also developed a Covid-19 vaccine that’s shown effectiveness in large trials, despite questions around the study results.
The deal would give AstraZeneca another toehold in