AbbVie seals this year’s largest bond deal

By Hazel Davis

Drug giant raises billions for Allergan takeover

US drug company AbbVie has announced one of the largest US corporate bond deals on record to pay for its takeover of Allergan, a deal that will create the fourth-largest drugmaker in the world.

The bond offering is split across 10 different maturities from 18 months to 30 years and is thought to be the largest issuance since CVS issued $40bn in March 2018 to fund its Aetna takeover. Interest in the AbbVie bonds was huge, with orders of more than $70bn, peaking at $77bn (£60bn).

Though AbbVie’s debt is big, analysts believe the returns are good on this high cash-flow generating business in a scarce market and the debt will reduce quickly.

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The move comes as the pharma giant looks to move away from its inflammatory drug Humira, which pulled in nearly $20 billion in sales in 2018, but is facing stiff competition from biosimilars. Its purchase of Allergan, will mean a range of other drugs in the AbbVie medicine cabinet.

FURTHER READING: Which is a better investment – stocks or bonds?

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