Not so long ago, Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) announced plans to buy biotech stock Horizon Therapeutics (NASDAQ:HZNP) in a deal valued at $28 billion. The Federal Trade Commission, not surprisingly, got involved and started a protracted legal battle. Now, with the battle resolved, the deal can go through and Horizon Therapeutics gained over 2% in Friday afternoon’s trading on the news.
Of course, very few government involvements end without the government making some kind of demand in return for not troubling the company involved. Amgen is allowed to buy Horizon Therapeutics, but somehow, it’s forbidden from bundling any Amgen product with either Krystexxa or Tepezza. Both of these are Horizon treatments geared toward addressing thyroid-related eye disease. With those terms understood, the government will stand down from any further legal proceedings and dismiss the preliminary injunctions.
Now, with those processes largely taken care of, Horizon and Amgen can carry out the original deal as planned. The deal is expected to conclude early in the fourth quarter of 2023. The bundling is a bit of a loss for Amgen, though; the bundling would have let it offer rebates and discounts on other products as an inducement to buy the discounted products in question. Why the FTC so specifically objected to such a practice—particularly as Medicare starts negotiating drug prices—is unclear. But with the issue so specifically addressed, it must have been important to them.
Turning to Wall Street, analysts have a Moderate Buy consensus rating on AMGN stock based on six Buys, five Holds, and two Sells assigned in the past three months, as indicated by the graphic above. Nevertheless, the average price target of $248.25 per share implies 3.3% downside risk.