Pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. (MRK) recently announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire biopharmaceutical company Acceleron Pharma Inc. for $11.5 billion. The deal is likely to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Following the news, shares of the company gained marginally to close at $75.11 on Thursday.
Merck will carry out this acquisition through a subsidiary and will pay $180 per share in cash. Post the buyout, any remaining shares of common stock of Acceleron will be canceled and converted into the right to receive the same $180 per share price payable in the tender offer.
With products like sotatercept and REBLOZYL in its portfolio, Acceleron’s acquisition is likely to enhance Merck’s offerings, especially in the Canadian, Australian and European markets. While sotatercept is a therapeutic candidate in Phase 3 trials and has potential to improve short-term and/or long-term clinical outcomes in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension, REBLOZYL is an erythroid maturation recombinant fusion protein used for the treatment of anemia in certain rare blood disorders.
The CEO of Merck, Rob Davis, said, “Acceleron’s innovative research has yielded an exciting late-stage candidate that complements and strengthens our growing cardiovascular portfolio and pipeline and holds the potential to build upon Merck’s proud legacy in cardiovascular disease.” (See Merck stock chart on TipRanks)
On September 30, Mizuho Securities analyst Mara Goldstein reiterated a Buy rating on the stock with a price target of $100, which implies upside potential of 33.1% from current levels.
The Wall Street community is cautiously optimistic about the stock with a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on 4 Buys and 3 Holds. The average Merck price target of $90.14 implies that the stock has upside potential of 20% from current levels. Shares have declined about 3.5% over the past year.
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