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Jazz Pharmaceuticals' Acquisition of GW Pharmaceuticals Closes

By Eric Volkman - May 5, 2021 at 4:54PM

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The developer of cannabis-based medications is now under new ownership.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ 1.83%) and GW Pharmaceuticals are now under the same corporate roof. The two companies announced Wednesday that Jazz's acquisition of GW has been completed. This brings the $7.6 billion cash-and-stock deal, first announced in early February, to a close.

In the companies' joint press release, Jazz CEO Bruce Cozadd was quoted as saying that the closing "mark[s] a transformative milestone in creating an innovative, high-growth, global biopharma leader in neuroscience with a worldwide commercial and operational footprint."

US currency in the shape of a marijuana leaf.

Image source: Getty Images.

"The addition of GW further diversifies our commercial portfolio and innovative pipeline with therapies that are complementary to our existing business," he added.

A key attraction for Jazz is GW's Epidiolex, a cannabis-based medication that treats certain rare types of childhood-onset epilepsy. As its new owner is fond of saying, Epidiolex is a potential blockbuster drug. If it maintains its impressive growth trajectory (its sales increased 72% year over year in 2020), it could be a major revenue generator for Jazz.

In the press release, the two companies added that the absorption of GW should deliver "accelerated" double-digit revenue improvement for the combined entity, and be accretive in the first full calendar year as a single entity, although they did not provide specifics. Some are apparently forthcoming; Jazz and GW said that updated 2021 guidance will be proffered within 45 days.

Jazz investors seem to be expecting good numbers from their suddenly larger company. On Wednesday, the stock closed 6.6% higher, notably eclipsing the generally flat performance of the S&P 500 index on the day.

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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