Is the Pzifer-Wyeth Merger Speculation for Real?

 |  Includes: PFE, WYE
by: Derek Lowe

I hope that this is still the silly season for merger speculation. Right after the run of dimwitted Novartis (NYSE:NVS)-buys-Bayer/Schering (SHRGY) rumors, we now have the even more spectacularly slackjawed Pfizer (NYSE:PFE)-should-buy-Wyeth (WYE) ones. I first came across this at Invivoblog, and could hardly believe my eyes.

Wyeth's not a bad company, although it's' had its problems over the years. It has put a lot of money into some difficult areas, such as vaccines, and Alzheimer's, and I have to give them credit for that. But, Pfizer isn't interested in most of these things, because it can't start paying off in time to to sheild them from the Big Lipitor Sales Slaughter in a few years. Pfizer needs big sales, and real soon.

But doesn't Pfizer have enough on its plate without going through yet another massive acquisition? And, weren't its two previous whoppers designed to get its hands on specific huge-selling drugs? Where's Wyeth's? And, isn't Pfizer big enough (and isn't its research productivity bad enough) already? Wouldn't some of the company's biggest shareholders likely throw a rug-biting fit? I could fill the rest of this post with such questions.

As it turns out, others are already asking them. Here's hoping that this is just investment-bank noise, trying to scare up some action for the fall dealmaking season so that everyone can rake in a good bonus this year. No, you have to go all the way to Peter Rost to find someone who likes this idea, and for all I know, he's probably urging it on in the hopes that it'll bring down the roof on his former company.

Nominations are open for the most idiotic drug company merger combination you can think up. But, you have to beat this one to win, and good luck.

PFE vs. WYE 1-yr chart: