Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) hit the new year running when it announced the acquisition of Loxo Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ: LOXO), a biopharmaceutical company that develops medicines for genomically defined cancers.
Under the terms of the deal, Lilly will acquire all outstanding shares of Loxo for $235.00 per share, or $8 billion. The offer represents a premium of approximately 68% to Loxo’s closing stock price on January 4, 2019. On a trailing 12-month basis, Loxo reported revenue of $144.8 million, for a multiple of nearly 55.3x.
This marks the company’s largest acquisition, by price, since 2008, when the Indianapolis-based drug maker paid $6.5 billion, or 10.4x revenue, for ImClone Systems, Inc., a biotech that developed and commercialized a portfolio of treatments for cancer patients.
In hindsight, this deal shouldn’t surprise us. Lilly acquired a number of companies and licenses focused on immuno-oncology research throughout 2018. On May 10, Lilly acquired ARMO BioSciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARMO) for $1.6 billion (a 67% premium over the May 9 closing price), with the goal of leveraging ARMO’s proprietary product candidates designed to activate a patient’s immune system to eradicate tumors.
A mere four days later Lilly announced it purchased AurKa Pharma, Inc. for $110 million. The Canadian biotech’s oncology compounds showed promise during clinical trials against multiple types of solid tumors. And in November, Lilly purchased a license to immuno-oncology therapies from NextCure for $25 million.
Including the Loxo Oncology deal, Lilly spent roughly $9.74 billion to bolster its immuno-oncology platform from the beginning of 2018.
For Lilly, Deutsche Bank is acting as the exclusive financial advisor and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is acting as a legal advisor in this transaction. For Loxo Oncology, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC is acting as exclusive financial advisor and Fenwick & West LLP is acting as legal advisor.