Pfizer to absorb Mylan, creating generic giant

Rick Shrum
Observer Reporter

A global pharmaceutical giant is poised for a growth spurt. A huge growth spurt.

Mylan NV, a $20 billion company, is merging with Upjohn, a division of Pfizer Inc., in an all-stock deal announced Monday morning. The merger will result in a new company, and is expected to take effect in or around mid-2020.

The boards of Mylan and Pfizer have unanimously approved the transaction, which also has to get a thumbs-up from Mylan shareholders. Pfizer shareholders will own 57% of the new company, which has yet to be named. Mylan shareholders will own 43%.

That new entity will offer a diverse portfolio of pharmaceuticals. Mylan is known for EpiPen and medications for the central nervous system, anesthesia, infectious disease and cardiovascular. Upjohn is Pfizer’s off-patent and generic business, whose medicines include Lipitor, Viagra and Celebrex.

Mylan has longtime ties to Washington County, operating from its global center in Southpointe. Its headquarters are in the Netherlands. Pfizer is based in New York City.

Headquarters for the new company has not been determined, but a news release from Mylan said the firm will have global centers in Pittsburgh, Shanghai and Hyderabad, India.

Robert J. Coury, Mylan’s current chairman, will be executive chairman of the new firm. Upjohn Group President Michael Goettler will be the chief executive officer and Rajiv Malik, Mylan’s president, will assume that same position. Ken Parks, Mylan’s chief financial officer “has agreed to depart the company at closing,” Mylan said in a news release.

Missing from that list is Heather Bresch, Mylan’s CEO since 2012. Bresch, who just turned 50, will retire when the deal closes.

She was paid $13,332,368 in total compensation in 2018, according to a regional list of “highest-paid public company executives” compiled by the Pittsburgh Business Times this spring. That was second to the $15.676 million paid to William Demchak, chairman, president and CEO of PNC Financial Services Group Inc.

Bresch, daughter of U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, has worked for Mylan for 27 years. She said in a news release from Mylan: “... as the company prepares to set out on this exciting new journey under the next era of leadership, I too have decided to pursue a new chapter – one that will continue to be focused on serving people, patients and public health.”

Coury said in a statement: “Heather has left a significant positive mark to the benefit of our company, patients and shareholders in so many ways. ... Her leadership helped to further position Mylan for this important milestone.”

The merging companies expect the new one to have annual revenue of $19 billion to $20 billion.