Strategic mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are commonplace in the corporate world for a number of solid reasons. Most commonly, two top companies in their respective fields agree to join forces via a merger to rapidly expand their customer base and create positive synergies and cost savings across the supply chain.
Over the past two decades, the pharmaceutical industry has been slowly consolidating for this underlying reason. In 1999, Pfizer agreed to a $90.2 billion deal with Warner-Lambert to form one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. A year later, Glaxo Wellcome paired up with SmithKline Beecham to form Britain's top drugmaker, GlaxoSmithKline. And this year, Celgene and Bristol-Myers Squibb agreed to the third-largest deal in pharma history.