Boom. Get it done.
Allergan is run by Brent Saunders, the pharmaceutical industry's biggest and best deal maker. He built Allergan through acquisitions. Once the $40 billion sale of Allergan's generic business to Teva (TEVA) - Get Report closes -- and it will close in the first half of the year, Saunders said -- Allergan will have a hefty cash pile to spend on more deals. [He'll pay down some debt first to maintain Allergan's investment-grade credit rating].
In an interview with Forbes Wednesday, Saunders said Allergan is different from the financially engineered, specialty pharma roll-ups like Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) .
"The key difference is that we strongly believe in innovation and R&D and we have invested in innovation and R&D ... When we have done acquisitions, which is probably the thing that we have most in common with Valeant, we have exclusively focused on growth assets, not mature assets," Saunders said in the Forbes interview.
That sounds like a guy who keeps a shopping list of biotech and drug companies on his desk.
On Tuesday, I wrote a story identifying potential Allergan M&A targets if the Pfizer merger was killed off. Wednesday, the list, which ranges from Biogen (BIIB) - Get Report , Celgene (CELG) - Get Report and AbbVie (ABBV) - Get Report to Anacor Pharma (ANAC) , Dermira (DERM) - Get Report and Depomed (DEPO) , is more relevant than ever.
Allergan and Biogen are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS portfolio.
If you haven't already, it's also worth going back to look at Allergan's investor presentation last summer explaining the rationale for selling its generics business to Teva.
Here's Saunders, speaking to investors last summer (before the Pfizer deal) about Allergan's growth strategy:
"We'll use a portion of these proceeds to pay down debt given our commitment to our investment-grade rating. But we also fully intend to build upon our proven track record of creating value through strong capital deployment, and that will come through either adding scale in existing therapeutic areas, thinking about new therapeutic areas and adding new geographies to our business, and certainly, transformational M&A opportunities. And in fairness, by reloading through this transaction, we can accelerate our timing on transformational M&A."
Buying Biogen or Celgene would be transformational, just as an example.
"We have a commitment to being growth pharma," said Saunders during a conference call Wednesday morning. He defined growth pharma as double-digit growth, adding that meeting this goal requires investing in outside growth assets, either through acquisitions or partnerships.
The only growth area Saunders said wasn't in Allergan's interest today was acquiring orphan drug assets or companies.
Saunders also noted that Allergan's advantageous tax situation (being domiciled in Ireland) isn't in jeopardy and actually puts the company in a superior position to acquire U.S. assets.
Leerink biotech analyst Geoff Porges said he believes there will be a surge in M&A later year but not necessarily because of the Pfizer-Allergan breakup.
"There's already an abundance of cash in the large-cap biotech and pharma balance sheets," said Porges. "The reason deals don't get done are due to seller's unrealistic price expectations, and mixed data about the drugs on offer, not lack of cash."
Let's not forget Pfizer's need to spend its way out of the hole created by the collapse of the Allergan merger. Pfizer has now tried twice (AstraZeneca and Allergan) to consummate deals based largely on financial engineering and tax avoidance. With tax inversions now off the table, Pfizer isn't likely to try again to merge with an overseas-based pharma company.
But what Pfizer could do is accelerate already-discussed plans to split the company into two parts: One focused on new, innovative products and the other on older, established medicines.
Pfizer could target biotech acquisitions -- large or small -- to help grow a "new drug" focused company.
In 2015, I made what seemed like a crazy prediction: Pfizer would buy Biogen and relocate its corporate headquarters to Cambridge, Mass. from New York.
I was wrong. That deal never happened. Pfizer tried to merge with Allergan. But that deal's now dead, so is it crazy to think Pfizer would revisit an acquisition with a large-cap biotech like Biogen?
As Rob Cyran of Reutersnoted this morning on Twitter, the "innovation" Pfizer could relocate to Cambridge while the "established" Pfizer could remain in New York.
Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet. In keeping with company editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.