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AstraZeneca lifts forecast, buys ZS Pharma for $2.7 billion

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Staff writer ▼ | November 6, 2015
AstraZeneca
Pharmaceutical   Quarterly revenue in dollar terms fell 10 percent

AstraZeneca agreed to buy U.S biotech company ZS Pharma for $2.7 billion, pipping Swiss firm Actelion to the prize in the latest bout of deal-making for the hyperactive healthcare sector.

AstraZeneca, which lifted its full-year earnings forecast despite the eroding sales of some of its top-selling medicines, said it would pay $90 a share to secure ZS Pharma's proprietary technology to develop novel treatments for hyperkalaemia, or high potassium levels.

Actelion revealed in September it had initiated talks with ZS Pharma that could have led to a bid.

"This acquisition complements our strategic focus on Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease by adding a potential best-in-class treatment to our portfolio of innovative medicines," AstraZeneca's Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said.

Hit by a stronger dollar and supply problems with flu vaccine FluMist, quarterly revenue in dollar terms fell 10 percent to $5.95 billion, generating core earnings per share (EPS), which exclude certain items, down 2 percent at $1.03 cents.

But revenue at constant exchange rates in the year to date is stable and EPS up 2 percent, helped by tight control on costs and income from disposals of certain products.


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