AstraZeneca to acquire Alexion in $39bn deal

By Itai Almogy, Gaspard Baroudel, Raphael Berz (Yale University), and Nathan Walemba (Oxford University)


Overview of the deal

Acquirer: AstraZeneca PLC

Target: Alexion

Total Transaction Size: $39 Billion

Closed date: Q3 2021

Target advisor: Bank of America

Only after 80 days since the deal being announced, the $39bn acquisition of Alexion by AstraZeneca is now complete. The biggest deal yet for AstraZeneca would allow the UK Pharma Giant to expand their expertise past Oncology and into other areas such as Immunology. There are some analysts however who question the strategic rationale of the deal, citing some longer-term risks with expiring patents. That being said, the combined company will be able to scale significantly, thereby reducing costs and thus operating in a more efficient manner. The acquisition comes at a time where AstraZeneca has seen a massive amount of publicity due to their development and planned distribution of an affordable Covid-19 vaccine in coalition with Oxford University.

“Alexion has established itself as a leader in complement biology, bringing life-changing benefits to patients with rare diseases… This acquisition allows us to enhance our presence in immunology” - AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot

Company Details: Acquirer - AstraZeneca PLC

Founded in 1999, AstraZeneca is a global leader in the pharmaceutical industry conducting major research into areas such as cancer to cardiovascular diseases. It is best known for its blockbuster drug lidocaine, a drug used for local anaesthetic.

Founded in 1999, headquartered in Cambridge, United Kingdom

CEO: Pascal Soriot

Number of employees: 70,600

Market Cap: $142.46B (as of 18/12/2020)

EV: $156.35B

LTM Revenue: $25.87B


LTM EV/Revenue: 6.04


Company Details: Target - Alexion

Alexion is an American Pharmaceutical company renowned for its groundbreaking work in the development of Soliris, a drug used to treat very rare disorders, as well as Ultomiris, a newer drug aimed at helping the same set of patients. The company Alexion also carries out significant research into autoimmune diseases and other areas of immune system research.

Founded in 1992, headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts

CEO: Ludwig N. Hantson