Investors applaud Salix acquisition

11/08/2013 5:09 PM

11/08/2013 5:10 PM

Wall Street gave a huge thumbs-up to Salix Pharmaceuticals’ plan to acquire specialty drug company Santarus for $2.6 billion.

Shares of Raleigh-based Salix rose 18 percent Friday, closing at $84, following the news of the deal, which was announced Thursday after the markets closed. Salix shares have doubled in value this year.

Combining the two businesses will give Salix a portfolio of 22 drugs that treat gastrointestinal ailments of annual revenue of nearly $1.35 billion.

Santarus’ drugs include a treatment for ulcerative colitis, Uceris, and the heartburn treatment Zegerid.

Investors also may have been motivated by Salix’s third-quarter earnings report. The company’s net income handily exceeded the consensus projection of analysts who cover the company and revenue rose 29 percent to $238.2 million.

Staff writer David Ranii

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