Zeneca takes full control of US cancer specialist

Zeneca, the UK's third-largest pharmaceuticals group, yesterday unveiled a $234m deal to buy in the 50 per cent share that it does not already own in Salick Health Care, the biggest cancer treatment specialist in the US.

The move, which comes some two years after Zeneca paid $204m for its initial half share in Salick, marks a further step in the British group's attempt to achieve world-leading status in cancer care and to broaden its attack on the wide health market.

A spokeswoman for Zeneca said: "Our drugs already target 7 cents out of every health-care dollar. With Salick we are attempting to get at the other 93 cents."

Zeneca, led by chief executive Sir David Barnes, has a strong portfolio of anti-cancer drugs, including the breast cancer treatment Zoladex, which increased sales by 28 per cent to pounds 333m last year. The company said Salick, headed by Dr Bernard Salick, offered "unique" direct access to information on cancer patients, both about the treatment being given to them and and how they were progressing. But the spokeswoman emphasised: "We are absolutely not trying to sell Zeneca drugs through Salick. Doctors prescribe the drugs most appropriate for the treatment."

Zeneca claims no other company offers as complete a service as Salick, which operates 11 comprehensive cancer care centres across the US, dealing with high-dependency long-term care. As well as cancer, it operates in the areas of kidney failure, organ transplants and certain immunodeficiency diseases.

Salick is in the midst of expansion in New York in association with Saint Vincent's Hospital there. The costs of that development programme helped to depress last year's operating profits to $10m from $12m in 1995, despite a 77 per cent jump in turnover to $186m.

The deal to buy in the remaining 50 per cent share is part of a put and call option negotiated in early 1995 at the time of the acquisition of the original stake in Salick, which is still quoted in the US. That arrangement allows Zeneca to buy out the remaining stake at $41.15 a share up until April 1999. Conversely, Salick's shareholders have the right in October this year to sell the holding at around $42 a share.

Zeneca refused to detail its plans for Salick once it acquires full control. The company merely said it would continue with "selective expansion and seek synergies with Zeneca". The British group is thought to believe that the Salick concept could work in overseas markets, including the UK, but there are no immediate plans to take it abroad while management has its hands full with expansion in the domestic market.

Earlier this month, Zeneca revealed that profits before exceptional items had broken through the pounds 1bn barrier for the first time, rising 15 per cent to pounds 1.01bn in 1996. Strong cash flow left the group with net cash of pounds 272m at the end of December. The group said it was more likely to use its balance sheet strength to buy in promising new drugs than to make acquisitions.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test