Week's news analysis

Australia's CSL to buy Swiss drugmaker
Vifor for $11.7 bln

By Editors with Reuters - 14 December 2021
The logo of Swiss drugmaker Vifor Pharma is seen at the company's headquarters in Glattbrugg, Switzerland November 16, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Australian biopharmaceutical giant CSL Ltd said it would buy Swiss drugmaker
Vifor Pharma AG for $11.7 billion, as it aims to diversify beyond its blood plasma collection business after taking a hit from COVID-19 curbs.

CSL, one of Australia's largest companies by market value, offered Vifor $179.25 a share in an all-cash deal, it said on Tuesday.

The deal would be CSL's biggest to date and give it access to Vifor's treatments for iron deficiency, kidney and cardio-renal diseases, as well as its production sites in Switzerland and Portugal.

The offer was unanimously recommended by Vifor Pharma's board, while its largest shareholder Patinex AG also agreed to tender its shares, CSL said.

The company will help fund the all-cash deal with a placement of around $5 billion to institutional and retail investors, a $6 billion debt facility and existing cash and undrawn facilities of $2 billion.

Restrictions imposed during the pandemic had hindered blood collections, hitting the CSL business unit which generates nearly nine-tenths of the company's profit.

The deal is expected to immediately add to earnings and expand the pipeline of products to 37 in the development phase, a 32% increase to CSL's current pipeline, it said.

Shares of the Swiss company, which used to be known as Galenica, have soared by more than a third since early December, when news first broke that there was a potential deal in the offing.


The capital raising is one of the largest secondary-market deals in Australia and continues a red-hot streak of activity there.

The starting point of the book build is A$273, an 8.2% discount from the stock's A$297.27 closing price on Monday when the company last traded ahead of its trading halt announced Tuesday.

CSL will sell 23.1 million shares in fully underwritten placement, alongside a non-underwritten 2.7 million share purchase plan underway.

The bookbuild is taking orders in A$2 increments up to $A285 per share and the book will close at 0600 GMT on Wednesday.

Goldman Sachs and Bank of America are leading the capital raising, the term sheet showed.

RELATED Novartis sees strong interest in Sandoz generics unit

Go to Top