CRA economists advised Linklaters and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, counsel to Novartis, throughout a three-part, $23 billion merger with GSK. A transatlantic team provided economic advice and support to Novartis throughout reviews by the European Commission (EC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC). For oncology in particular, CRA’s analyses showed that certain drugs were not close substitutes and that their combination would therefore not lead to anticompetitive effects. Subject to the divestment of a pipeline combining two skin cancer drugs, the EC determined the transaction would not adversely affect innovation and the development of new oncology drugs.
In January, the EC conditionally cleared the acquisition by Novartis of GSK’s oncology business, the sale of Novartis’ vaccine business (except influenza) to GSK, and a joint venture between Novartis and GSK for consumer health products. CRA also advised Novartis for the sale of its animal health business to Eli Lilly, which was cleared in Phase I by the EC in October 2014, and approved by the FTC in February. In the US, the FTC required the same concessions relating to oncology products before approving the joint venture.