The BFD: Royalty Pharma has agreed to acquire the royalty stream of multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri from Perrigo (NYSE: PRGO) in a deal that could be valued at upwards of $2.85 billion. The transaction includes $2.2 billion in cash at closing (expected in 30 days) and up to $650 million in potential milestone payments based on Tysabri sales in 2018 and 2020.
Why it's the BFD: This is all about activist investor Starboard Value, which already had forced Perrigo to replace five of its directors and to lay off around 750 employees. Now it's effectively forced the Irish company to dump the upside from one of its top prescription products, which it had acquired via the 2013 purchase of Elan Corp. And more asset sales could be coming.
Bottom line: "Starboard, fresh off victory at Yahoo Inc., argued Perrigo management has been distracted by the merger fight and attempts to diversify away from its over-the-counter drugs business, a powerhouse in private-label medicines including versions of headache remedy Tylenol, heartburn aid Pepcid and allergy pill Claritin." ― Anne Steele