Botox maker spends $2.5bn on fat-freezing firm

Dublin-based Allergan is acquiring Zeltiq Aesthetics...

Botox maker spends $2.5bn on fat-freezing firm

Picture by Richard Drew AP/Press Association Images

Allergan is set to gobble up another medical tech company to aid in the fight to make its customers look younger, as it announces a $2.48 billion (€2.38bn) acquisition of Zeltiq Aesthetics.

Paying $56.50 per Zeltiq share – a 14.4% premium on its Friday closing price – Allergan will be gaining the CoolSculpting System, a US Food and Drug Administration-approved freezing mechanism that reduces the appearance of stubborn fat without disrupting surrounding tissue.

It estimates that the body contouring industry is worth $4bn and expects the deal to be completed in the second half of 2017.

The Dublin-based Botox maker has completed a number of acquisitions since the collapse of a planned $160bn (€140m) merger with Pfizer last April.

The deal fell apart as the United States revealed new plans to curb corporate tax avoidance, particularly through inversion deals.

Allergan CEO Brent Saunders is interviewed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Picture by Richard Drew AP/Press Association Images

US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said at the time:

"We know companies will continue to seek new and creative ways to relocate their tax residence to avoid paying taxes here at home."

He added that the new regulations aimed to "further rein in inversions and reduce the ability of companies to avoid taxes through earnings stripping."

“This week’s Treasury action interprets the [US] tax laws in ways never done before,” Pfizer CEO Ian Read subsequently wrote in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece. “This ad hoc and arbitrary attempt to single out and damage the growth opportunities of companies operating within the current law is unprecedented, unproductive and harmful to the US economy."

According to Reuters, Allergan CEO Brent Saunders has already expressed an interest this month in concluding further deals in 2017. He has also been talking up the potential of its Kybella injectable, which is used to reduce the appearance of double chins. 

Zeltiq's shares climbed 12.6% to $55.65 in pre-market trading on Monday.