Astra Zeneca is selling up to half its stock in an attempt to reduce a massive market-wide sale of the company’s generic drug business.
The drugmaker is raising $4.3bn in the latest round of financing and plans to raise more than $8bn over the next 12 months, according to an investor presentation published Thursday.
The company also plans to sell up to 1.8m shares of its other drug business, including the $600m Pfizer-developed Sovaldi, and to raise $500m more.
The Astra deal is the biggest in Astra’s history and is the largest in its $30bn portfolio, according the investor presentation.
Astra, which also makes Paxil, had been selling stock at around $4 a share.
Investors also raised questions about the health of the Astra brand.
Possible Astra sales dealThe AstaZeneca deal is a major turnaround for the company after years of troubles.”
We think the deal would be the biggest-ever for Astra.”
Possible Astra sales dealThe AstaZeneca deal is a major turnaround for the company after years of troubles.
The giant drugmaker, which makes more than 2,000 generic drugs for more than half the US population, is one of the biggest purchasers of drugmaker drugs in the US.
Its drugs are sold under brand names like Ava and Paxil.
The Astra group makes the generics and sells them under brand-name names such as Axent and AstraVigil.
“This transaction creates a stronger, better-performing brand, with a larger, better and stronger portfolio,” Astra said in a statement.
Shares of Astra were up 5.4% in New Delhi, the stock market’s benchmark, after the deal was announced.
Shares of Asta declined 6.7% in London.
Analysts had expected the Asta deal to raise about $1bn.
Asta, which is controlled by the Italian billionaire Giuseppe Bongiorno, said it was in talks with some other parties.
“While there is no definitive date of completion, we are currently negotiating with a number of potential buyers for the remaining assets of the business,” the company said in its statement.
Astarzys sales of generic drugs have been falling in recent years, partly due to an increasing number of people with chronic illnesses who cannot afford to pay full price for the drugs.
The drugs have become a major target for the US pharmaceutical industry, which has been battling a shortage of generic drug for years.
The deal comes as the US and other countries have tightened restrictions on drugmakers to stem the emergence of generics.
Astrava and other companies, such as Pfizer and Merck, have also announced their own deals to raise capital.