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.