Medical cannabinoid firm GW Pharma to be acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals for $7.2 billion
Published 21 mins ago | By Matt Lamers
A GW Pharma cannabis greenhouse in the United Kingdom. (Photo courtesy of GW Pharma)
(This story will be updated with further developments.)
Global pharma company Jazz Pharmaceuticals has reached an agreement to buy United Kingdom-based GW Pharmaceuticals, one of the largest medical cannabinoid businesses in the world, for $7.2 billion in cash and stock, the drugmakers announced Wednesday.
The proposed transaction would be the largest move to date by a pharmaceutical company into cannabis and could spur a wave of research and development into the burgeoning field.
It also is the largest acquisition in the cannabis industry to date.
According to the proposed cash and stock transaction, each GW shareholder would receive $200 in cash and $20 in Jazz ordinary shares for each GW American Depositary Share (ADS), resulting in an aggregate consideration of $7.2 billion.
“What we’ve been able to demonstrate at GW over the last 20 years is that the cannabinoid platform is a real and compelling science,” Justin Gover, CEO of GW Pharmaceuticals, said during a conference call with analysts.
“There is very significant growth potential within the approved indications.”
GW’s main medical product is Epidiolex, which the company said achieved approximately $510 million in annual sales within two years of its launch.
Epidiolex has been approved in certain countries for the treatment of certain seizure disorders.
Jazz Pharmaceuticals CEO Bruce Cozadd sees opportunity to expand sales in Europe.