Salix Pharmaceuticals shares rose more than 4 percent Tuesday after a CNBC anchor mentioned that Botox maker Allergan may be interested in acquiring the Raleigh company.
CNBC’s David Fabor, without saying where he got the information, said Allergan CEO David Pyott has lately “talked down” the possibility of acquiring Jazz Pharma, Bloomberg News reported. Fabor went on to say that if Allergan is targeting a company, it’s more likely to be Salix.
The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Allergan approached Salix about an acquisition as it seeks to fend off a hostile takeover bid from Valeant Pharmaceuticals.
Salix also announced late Monday that the Food and Drug Administration has granted tentative approval for Uceris, a rectal foam used to treat ulcerative colitis. Salix said it expects to resolve outstanding patent issues early in the fourth quarter of this year and launch the drug in the first quarter of 2015.
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Salix announced in July that it was merging with the subsidiary of an Italian drug company and reincorporate in Ireland in order to lower its tax rate.
Salix is merging with Cosmo Technologies, an Ireland-based subsidiary of Cosmo Pharmaceuticals, in a so-called corporate tax inversion. Salix shareholders will own just under 80 percent of the combined company; Cosmo shareholders will own the rest.
After the deal was announced, Sterne Agee analyst Shibani Malhotra noted that the merger wouldn’t alter Salix’s attraction as a possible acquisition target. After the inversion, Malhotra noted, Salix may be attractive to other U.S. companies looking to bring down their tax rates.
Salix shares closed at $155.87, up $7.15. The stock is up 73 percent this year.