ddn Online

The Blog of Drug Discovery News

Who? What? How much?

So, as I was writing a news article (here) on the web site about Axcan Holdings getting prepped to buy out Eurand N.V., I was struck with an overwhelming question.

Who are these companies?

I don’t mean to be flip, mind you. They’re both legit pharma entities, with Axcan having a strong gastrointestinal focus and Eurand having six FDA-approved products under its belt. But I’ve never heard of either one of them.

This isn’t odd, of course. There are so many small and mid-size pharmas and biotechs that even the most hardened life sciences market analyst couldn’t know them all. No matter how much we are in the business or reporting about it, there will always be company names that make us say, “Never heard of ’em.”

But the reason this sticks out for me is that the buyout deal is for $583 million. That’s over a half-billion dollars.

Isn’t that a lot of money? Shouldn’t I have heard of these companies in passing before, with that kind of money about to change hands?

Or is it just that things have begun to move so quickly now, and so much money is being thrown around the world economy that a billion dollars is “the new black?” That is, being a millionaire now, even at the high ends, is perhaps passé, and now you don’t matter as a rich person unless you break the billion mark?

I realize that as I get older, I will look back at the “good old days” (or bad old ones, for that matter) and say, “What happened?” I already do, and I recognize it.

But still, half a billion dollars seems to me like the kind of money that gets thrown around by pharmas I’ve heard of before. It just doesn’t seem like in the mere five-and-a-half years that I’ve been on staff at ddn that we could have gone from half a billion being big news to simply being a blip on the radar.

So, I wonder: Is the fault in me that I’ve never heard of these companies before and should have? Or just that the world is moving so fast now that it’s hard to keep up with the dollars and the deals?

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December 2, 2010 - Posted by | Corporate, Dealmakers, M&A activity | , , , , , ,

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