Australian biotech firm CSL completes the acquisition of Vifor Pharma AG

Paul Perreault, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director at CSL

CSL Limited is pleased to announce it has now received all necessary regulatory clearances for the acquisition of Vifor Pharma AG (Vifor) initially announced on 14 December 2021. CSL has set the settlement date of the public tender offer for Vifor for 9 August 2022.

What are the terms of the transaction?

If the offer conditions that remain in effect until the settlement remain fulfilled until that date, shareholders who accepted the offer will receive the offer price for each share tendered into the offer on the settlement date, subject to the terms of the offer. CSL anticipates that it will hold more than 97% of Vifor Pharma AG shares upon the settlement of the offer and intends to have Vifor apply for the delisting of the Vifor Pharma AG Shares after the settlement.

Also, CSL has filed an action to cancel the remaining publicly held Vifor Pharma AG Shares in accordance with Swiss takeover rules. The proceedings are currently suspended and will be resumed after the Settlement. Planning for the integration of Vifor is well advanced.

What were the executives’ thoughts on the transaction?

Commenting on the deal, CSL’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Mr. Paul Perreault said, “We are excited to complete the acquisition of Vifor Pharma – enhancing CSL’s well-established patient focus and ability to protect the health of those facing a range of rare and serious medical conditions. I would like to thank our employees, strategic partners and shareholders who have shown their unwavering support throughout the acquisition process.”

“Joining CSL, the Vifor adds near-term value along with a clear path to long-term sustainable growth. It also adds an outstanding management team, a complementary portfolio of products and market leading position in the nephrology and iron deficiency spaces,” he said.

“We are pleased about the regulatory clearance for the transaction. As we complete the final steps on the CSL acquisition journey, I am full of confidence that Vifor Pharma will have a successful future as part of a larger, global organization. This will allow us to accelerate growth and to successfully drive multiple product launches as we continue to help even more patients around the world live better, healthier lives,” said Abbas Hussain, CEO, Vifor Pharma.

What were the structural changes at Vifor?

CSL also advises Mr. Hervé Gisserot, a demonstrated global leader with diverse biopharma experience, has been designated to lead the Vifor business as General Manager upon settlement of the offer. He will report to CSL’s Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Paul McKenzie.

Mr. Hervé Gisserot is currently the Chief Commercial Officer for Vifor Pharma, joining in January 2022 following 13 years at GlaxoSmithKline where he served in multiple Senior Vice President (SVP) roles, including recently as SVP & Head of Pharmaceuticals & Vaccines for Greater China & Intercontinental. Prior to that, he also held various leadership roles of more responsibility at firms; Sanofi-Aventis, Aventis, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer and Fournier Group.

Dr. McKenzie said: “I  welcome Hervé to the role of General Manager. With his proven track record of leading high-performing firms, executing successful product launches across various geographies, and delivering profitable growth, we have confidence in his leadership.”

Due to the closing of the acquisition, the current CEO Abbas Hussain will leave Vifor Pharma in the coming months. Jacques Theurillat, Chairman of the Board of Vifor Pharma, commented: “On behalf of the company, I would like to thank Abbas Hussain for his commitment and leadership during his tenure at Vifor Pharma. We wish him all the best for the future.”