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Midsize Pharmaceutical Firms Are the Industry’s Big Deal Makers This Year

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Midsize pharmaceutical companies are the industry’s big deal makers this year, replacing larger brethren as new sources of capital emerge.

Typically the biggest drugmakers do the most deals by value. Yet large-cap pharmaceutical companies have pulled back on acquisitions this year, as they pay down debt from previous sprees and resist high premiums.

Instead, medium-size pharmaceutical companies, which had been targets of their larger peers, have spent the most on acquisitions fueled by the new sources of capital and the need to find growth for the long haul.

Midcap drug companies have struck nine deals valued at $13.1 billion so far this year, about twice what larger pharmaceutical companies spent on eight acquisitions during the period, according to pharmaceutical data provider Evaluate Group Ltd.

Among the biggest deals across the industry this year was an agreement by midsize Jazz Pharmaceuticals PLC in May to buy cannabinoid drugmaker GW Pharmaceuticals PLC for $6.7 billion.

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