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- Biotech mergers and acquisitions are off to a hot start in 2018.
- On Monday, French drugmaker Sanofi spent $11.6 billion to buy US hemophilia firm Bioverativ, and Celgene spent $9 billion on cancer specialist Juno Therapeutics.
- Investment banks stand to make as much as $185 million in fees for advising on the deals.
Two major biotech acquisitions dropped on Monday: French drugmaker Sanofi spent $11.6 billion to buy US hemophilia firm Bioverativ, and Celgene spent $9 billion on cancer specialist Juno Therapeutics.
The more than $20 billion in pharma mergers and acquisitions means a windfall of as much as $185 million in fees for four investment banks, with JPMorgan raking in the most from the deals.
JPMorgan will split $45 million to $55 million in fees with Guggenheim Partners for advising Bioverativ, while Lazard will take in $30 million to $40 million for advising Sanofi, according to Jeffrey Nassof, the director of the consulting firm Freeman & Co.
JPMorgan also advised on the Celgene-Juno tieup, earning $25 million to $35 million in fees for advising Celgene. Morgan Stanley stands to make $45 million to $55 million for advising Juno.
M&A activity is off to a blistering start for the sector in 2018 — Celgene earlier this month also spent as much as $7 billion to buy Impact Biomedicines — and Monday's deals could be a "sign that large-cap Pharma’s getting more aggressive again with dealmaking," according to Nassof.
There were only nine US pharma acquisitions of $5 billion or more announced in 2017, compared with 14 in 2016 and 23 in 2015, Nassof said.