A merger of drugmakers AstraZeneca Plc and Gilead Sciences Inc. is unlikely, according to analysts, after Bloomberg News reported that the U.K. company made a preliminary approach to its U.S. peer last month.
Political opposition from both Britain and America could derail any attempt at a deal, especially given the backdrop of the Covid-19 outbreak, Citi said. The timing is also questionable, as while Gilead is in the middle of a turnaround, AstraZeneca is well positioned and has a strong pipeline, analysts said.
Yet there is potential for synergies, and Gilead could compliment AstraZeneca’s portfolio in the areas of virology and inflammatory treatment, according to RBC.
Jefferies, Peter Welford (hold rated on AstraZeneca)
Citi, Andrew Baum (buy rated on AstraZeneca)
Barclays, Carter Gould (underweight rated on Gilead)
RBC, Brian Abrahams (outperform rated on Gilead)
Intron Health Research, Naresh Chouhan (hold rated on AstraZeneca)
Goldman Sachs, Terence Flynn (sell rated on Gilead)
Bryan Garnier, Eric Le Berrigaud (buy rated on AstraZeneca)
SVB Leerink, Geoffrey C. Porges (outperform rated on Gilead)