Samsung Group in talks to buy U.S. drugmaker Biogen


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Employees of Samsung Group work at the company’s headquarters in Seoul April 22, 2008. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak

(Reuters) – South Korea’s Samsung (KS:) Group is in talks to buy U.S. drugmaker Biogen Inc (NASDAQ:), Korea Economic Daily reported on Wednesday, citing investment banking sources.

The report said Biogen approached Samsung to buy its shares, which could be valued at more than $42 billion. The drugmaker is valued at $34.67 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

The deal could be the biggest overseas acquisition ever by a South Korean company. The largest so far was in 2016, when Samsung Electronics (OTC:) bought auto electronics maker Harman International Industries (D:) in an $8 billion deal.

Samsung Group had said earlier this year it will invest 240 trillion won ($206 billion) in the next three years to expand its footprint in biopharmaceuticals, artificial intelligence, semiconductors and robotics in the post-pandemic era.

Biogen said it does not comment on market rumors or speculation, while Samsung did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.

Shares of Biogen were up 8% in afternoon trading at $255.90.

In June, Biogen’s controversial Alzheimer’s drug won U.S. regulatory approval, becoming the first new treatment for the memory-robbing disease in nearly 20 years, despite an outside advisory panel’s view that the company had not proven the treatment’s clinical benefits.

Biogen has been betting on the drug, Aduhelm, to buffer a hit as its main revenue drivers such as multiple sclerosis treatment Tecfidera and muscle disease treatment Spinraza face rising competition.

But U.S. sales from Aduhelm have been slower than expected as hospitals complained that the drug’s high cost was not worth its benefits. The company cut its price by about half to $28,200 this month.

Biogen, which makes drugs for neurological diseases, currently has more than 30 new drugs in its pipeline.

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