Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE: BMY) on Monday proposed to divest one of Celgene Corporation’s most profitable drugs, Otezla, in order to accelerate the close of their planned merger.
Under the agreement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Bristol-Myers will sell off the psoriasis pill to alleviate antitrust regulators’ concerns. The Company said it aims to complete the Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG) transaction at the end of 2019 or the beginning of 2020. Bristol initially planned to close the deal in quarter 3 of 2019.
“Bristol-Myers Squibb is committed to working with regulatory authorities around the world on the proposed combination with Celgene. The Company is focused on realizing the promise of the transaction and is continuing to work to complete the transaction on a timely basis,” the Company said.
Bristol first announced its plans to buy Celgene in a cash-and-stock deal back in January, valuing the business at USD 74 Billion. By late February the Company decided to withdraw and refile its premerger notification under the HSR Act, which requires parties to notify the FTC and Department of Justice of large mergers and acquisitions before they occur.
The combined company will focus on the needs of “patients with cancer, inflammatory and immunologic disease and cardiovascular disease through high-value innovative medicines and leading scientific capabilities.” Bristol said it expects the new biopharma company to deliver growth in both sales and earnings through 2025.
Shares of Bristol-Myers have lost nearly 12% this year, while shares of Celgene have gained nearly 47%.