The acquisition is expected to expand CSL’s offering across a portfolio focused on renal disease, and iron deficiency areas


Vifor Pharma Zurich Site. (Credit: Vifor Pharma Management Ltd.)

Australian biotechnology firm CSL has reached an agreement to acquire Swiss speciality pharmaceutical firm Vifor Pharma for an aggregate equity value of $11.7bn.

Under the terms of the agreement, the company will place an all-cash tender to acquire all publicly traded shares of Vifor Pharma at a price of $179.25.

Valuing the transaction at around $12.3bn, the tender offer represents an implied premium of nearly 40% to the closing price of Vifor Pharma shares as of 1 December 2021.

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both the companies and is subject to various customary closing conditions.

CSL chief executive officer and managing director Paul Perreault said: “Vifor Pharma enhances CSL’s patient focus and ability to protect the health of those facing a range of rare and serious medical conditions.

“It brings an outstanding team and a leading portfolio of products across Nephrology, Dialysis and Iron Deficiency therapies and a proven partnering and business development and licensing strategy.

“Vifor Pharma will also expand our presence in the rapidly growing nephrology market, while giving us the opportunity to leverage our complementary scientific expertise.”

The acquisition of Vifor will add 10 new products to CSL’s portfolio, expanding its offerings across renal disease, and iron deficiency areas.

The combined company is expected to have a pipeline of 37 products across various development phases, with plans to launch four products between 2022 and 2023.

CSL intends to fund the transaction through a fully underwritten institutional placement of $4.5bn, a fully committed debt bridge facility of $6bn, and existing cash of $2bn.

Vifor Pharma board of directors chairman Jacques Theurillat said: “Vifor Pharma’s strategy has been to focus towards continuing being a market leader in iron deficiency, nephrology and cardio-renal therapies.

“The offer provides an excellent strategic opportunity for Vifor Pharma to optimize future market opportunities from a from a position of strength and to create substantial value for all stakeholders.”

Furthermore, CSL intends to undertake a non-underwritten Share Purchase Plan (SPP) to eligible shareholders in Australia and New Zealand to raise up to $534m.