Amgen to Acquire Mustafa Nevzat to Tap Growth in Turkey

Image By Marthe Fourcade - Amgen Inc. (AMGN), the world’s largest biotechnology company, agreed to buy closely held Mustafa Nevzat Pharmaceuticals for almost $700 million to expand in Turkey, where economic growth is boosting demand for medicines. Amgen will pay cash to get 95.6 percent of Mustafa Nevzat, or MN Pharmaceuticals as the Istanbul-based generic-drug maker is known, the companies said in a joint statement. The transaction will boost Amgen’s presence in a region that has “large, fast-growing, priority markets,” they said.

Amgen is seeking to shore up revenue as its former core anemia franchise declines. In the past few months, the Thousand Oaks, California-based company has acquired Micromet Inc. for $1.16 billion to add an experimental leukemia drug, signed a development deal with AstraZeneca Plc and boosted its presence in the cancer market through sales of the bone drug Xgeva.

“Amgen’s focus on Turkey and the surrounding region is part of a broad international expansion strategy,” the company said in the statement.

Amgen rose 2.3 percent to $70.19 at 4 p.m. New York time, its highest amount since January 2007. The shares have gained 9.1 percent this year.

Turkey has been a popular target for deals in recent years, with companies seeking to tap its $772 billion economy, which grew 8.5 percent last year, the third-fastest rate among the Group of 20 countries after China and Argentina. Zentiva NV, a Czech drugmaker bought by Sanofi in 2009, acquired 75 percent of the generic-drug unit of Turkey’s Eczacibasi in 2007 and later purchased the remaining 25 percent stake.
FDA License

MN is the leading supplier of pharmaceuticals to hospitals in Turkey and garnered sales of about $200 million last year, according to the statement. It was the first Turkish pharmaceutical company to win a license from the Food and Drug Administration to sell products in the U.S., according to the company’s website.

The company’s owners, the children and grandchildren of the founder Mustafa Nevzat Pisak, hired bankers last year to sell a stake, people with direct knowledge of the situation said Jan. 31. Bank of America Merrill Lynch advised them and JPMorgan Chase & Co. worked with Amgen. Amgen’s lawyers were Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP in London and Paksoy in Istanbul, a spokeswoman said.

Two other Turkish pharmaceutical companies -- Abdi Ibrahim Ilac Sanayi & Ticaret, the country’s largest, and Biofarma Pharmaceutical Industry Co. -- have failed in efforts to sell stakes over the past two years. (Bloomberg)
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07