Wednesday 17 January 2018

$2bn merger of Irish and US firms will lead to fresh jobs creation

John Mulligan

John Mulligan


US drug company Jazz Pharmaceuticals has completed its merger with Irish firm Azur Pharma, marking the creation of a $2bn (€1.56bn) group that will be headquartered in Dublin.

The deal, first announced last September, will also lead to new jobs in Ireland, the group's chief executive, Bruce Cozadd said.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, he said that while 20 staff are based in Ireland, that number would increase. The new group employs about 430 people.

Azur Pharma was co-founded by former Elan executive Seamus Mulligan in 2005. The other founders are David Brabazon and Eunan Maguire.

The company was backed by a number of private investors and was valued at about $500m under the terms of the merger with Jazz. The new group is just over 20pc owned by Azur shareholders, with Jazz shareholders holding the remainder. Jazz is quoted on the Nasdaq.

The drugs in Azur's portfolio include pain management treatment Prialt, which was sold to Azur by Elan in 2010 for an undisclosed amount. It also has a drug called FazaClo, used to treat schizophrenia, and a range of women's health products.

Jazz had been earning about 87pc of its annual revenues from Xyrem, a treatment for narcolepsy. Following the merger with Azur, the drug will account for about 63pc of the predicted $465m to $490m in the enlarged group revenue this year. Mr Cozadd said the deal was as much about securing access to people as products.

Mr Mulligan will be chief business officer, international business development of the new group. Other Azur executives will have key roles in the company.

While Jazz hasn't been paying US corporate taxes due to its historic financial position, the combined group's future projected tax rate will be in the mid-20pc range. That compares to about a 40pc rate that Jazz as a standalone entity would have been exposed to in the US.

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