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Big Pharma consolidation not thrilling investors

Lex is a premium daily commentary service from the Financial Times. It helps readers make better investment decisions by highlighting key emerging risks and opportunities.

Another day, another healthcare sector deal. AstraZeneca’s purchase of Omthera on Tuesday is small (maximum value: $443-million (U.S.)), bolt-on (to an existing cardiovascular business), and necessary (AstraZeneca needs to replenish its drug portfolio). It also maintains the pace of acquisitions in healthcare this year. The sector’s valuation, however, suggests that investors are more attracted by Big Pharma’s defensive qualities than by the prospect of another bout of industry consolidation.