ABSTRACT

At the end of the 20th century, the pharmaceutical industry was in the midst of a wave of consolidation, with some of the largest multinational companies involved in mergers (Balto and Mongoven, 1999). Since then, this tendency has even intensified with a number of mega-mergers, and concentration has been continuously growing in this market. The largest mergers and acquisitions since 1999 include Zeneca’s acquisition of Astra, the acquisition of Marion Merrel Dow by Hoechst, the mergers between Sandoz and Ciba-Geigy, and Glaxo Wellcome with SmithKline Beecham, the hostile takeover of Sanofi-Syntelabo SA by Aventis and the merger of Pharmacia and Upjohn with Monsanto. Pfizer, a company that did not even figure among the industry’s top ten a decade ago, after a number of acquisitions, became the largest world company and expects revenue of US$53 billion in 2004, about 40 per cent more than the number two: GlaxoSmithKline plc (Hensley, 2004).