Alexion buys biopharma Portola in $1.4 billion deal

May 5, 2020

Alexion Pharmaceuticals and Portola Pharmaceuticals have entered into a definitive merger agreement for Alexion to acquire the commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company.

Portola is focused on life-threatening blood-related disorders. Portola’s commercialized medicine, Andexxa is the first and only approved Factor Xa inhibitor reversal agent, and has demonstrated value by rapidly reversing the anticoagulant effects of Factor Xa inhibitors rivaroxaban and apixaban in severe and uncontrolled bleeding. The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of Alexion and Portola.

“The acquisition of Portola represents an important next step in our strategy to diversify beyond C5," said Ludwig Hantson, CEO of Alexion. "Andexxa is a strategic fit with our existing portfolio of transformative medicines and is well-aligned with our demonstrated expertise in hematology, neurology and critical care. We believe Andexxa has the potential to become the global standard of care for patients who experience life-threatening bleeds while taking Factor Xa inhibitors apixaban and rivaroxaban.”

“In developing and launching Andexxa, Portola has established a strong foundation for changing the standard of care for patients receiving Factor Xa inhibitors that experience a major, life-threatening bleed," said Scott Garland, president and CEO of Portola." Andexxa rapidly reverses the pharmacologic effect of rivaroxaban and apixaban within two minutes, reducing anti-Factor Xa activity by 92 percent.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, a subsidiary of Alexion will tender an offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Portola’s common stock at $18 per share in cash. Following completion of the offer, Alexion will acquire all remaining shares not tendered in the offer at the same price of $18 per share through a merger. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2020.

Alexion will fund the transaction with cash on hand. As part of the acquisition, Alexion will also be acquiring cash currently on Portola’s balance sheet, net of debt of approximately $215 million that will become due upon closing. As of December 31, 2019, cash and short-term investments were approximately $430 million.

Read the Alexion statement