Carl Icahn acquires large stake in pharma giant Allergan

31 May 2016

Carl Icahn has taken out the chequebook once again to purchase a significant stake in Irish-based pharmaceutical giant Allergan, in a move that has given him a ‘large position’ within the company.

Following last month’s collapse of the proposed $160bn merger between Pfizer and Allergan, which would have seen the former based here for tax purposes, Allergan has found itself in the unexpected position of being in control of its own finances.

And now, Reuters is reporting, billionaire investor Carl Icahn has turned his eye away from Apple in favour of the pharma company, in which he has now taken a significant stake.

Last April, it was revealed that Icahn had sold off his Apple stock, having been spooked over concerns about the company’s relationship with China’s regulators, and he is now turning to the pharma sector for further profits.

While the terms of the deal have not been disclosed, Icahn said in a statement that he has acquired a ‘large position’ in the company, having been impressed with CEO Brent Saunders.

Icahn previously tried to scupper Pfizer-Allergan deal

He went on to say that he and his other investors were behind Saunders being appointed in 2013 following Allergan’s acquisition by Actavis, with him having previously held the role of CEO of another group, Forest Labs.

This deal comes at a time when Allergan is continuing to sell off parts of its portfolio, most recently its nearly-completed deal to sell its generic pharma business to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries for around $1bn.

Interestingly, despite his recent investment in Allergan, Icahn was instrumental in trying to scupper the deal that would have seen Allergan merge with Pfizer.

Prior to the deal being called off, Icahn had launched a $150m campaign to try and stop American companies setting up shop in foreign countries for tax purposes, citing the deal as a major blow to the US corporate world.

Stock market image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic