The M&A game
Gilead: Street favorite
Lesson: While it might seem obvious, what makes for great deals is the ability to find undervalued assets. But on top of these pearls, a breakout deal is made when the acquirer uses the assets to leverage itself to the next level, while monetizing assets that it does not want to keep.
Ask virtually any Wall Streeter to name the best recent deal and the answer will be Gilead’s acquisition of Triangle. For the Street, it had virtually all the ingredients of a perfect transaction: Triangle had a great product, yet was ill-positioned to exploit it and as a result was undervalued.
GILD (Foster City, Calif.) acquired Triangle for $464 million in cash in December 2002.