The saying that “a week is a long time in politics” could be adapted to “two weeks is a long time in M&A activity”. Just two weeks ago CSL was determined to challenge the FTC’s attempts to block their $3.1bn acquisition of Talecris Biotherapeutics on antitrust concerns (CSL and the FTC draw battle lines, May 28, 2009). Today it seems the harsh reality of the scale of this challenge proved too much with news that CSL has abandoned its plan to buy Talecris.
Whilst CSL’s shareholders will naturally be disappointed, they were appeased to some extent by CSL’s $1.3bn share buy-back plans to return the bulk of the cash the Australian group raised from investors to help fund the deal; CSL’s shares rose 5% to A$30.49 today. As for Talecris, the collapsed deal scuppers a second major attempt by the group’s private equity owners to orchestrate an exit following an aborted IPO last year. Those IPO documents may now need to be taken off the shelf and dusted down.