Pfizer announced a $50 billion deal Wednesday to buy the world’s largest pharmaceutical company.
Pfizer CEO Ian Read and President and Chief Operating Officer Michael Sussman said the company will acquire AstraZeca, the makers of a life-saving antibiotic and cholesterol-lowering drug.
The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2018.
“Pfizer is committed to transforming our company, as we have done for nearly 20 years,” Read said in a statement.
“Our investment in Astra has helped us accelerate our transformation and to further enhance our ability to deliver the most innovative medicines for people in the U.S. and around the world.”
Astra Zeca has been approved for use in a broad range of conditions, including the rare and fatal metabolic syndrome and Crohn’s disease.
It is also a popular therapy in the treatment of psoriasis and Crohns disease.
Astra is also the most expensive drug on the market, at $2,200 per pill.
Pfizers CEO Ian Rehm said the deal will help accelerate the company’s strategy of transforming the company and “providing an even broader range of affordable, effective treatments to the entire world.”
Pfizer and Astra are the largest U.K. pharmaceutical companies, together holding more than 90% of the global market.
Pfiser owns nearly half of Astra’s business, and it has a 49% stake in the rest.
“We’re delighted to be in a position to join forces with Pfizer to build on our strong position in the global pharmaceutical market, which is expected be the next great frontier for our company,” Sussmans said.
Pfisers investment in the company comes as Pfizer’s stock is surging.
The company’s stock jumped by more than 10% after the news was announced.
Pfiffers shares jumped 6.9% to $19.25 in after-hours trading.
Astrola, which also owns Astra, also reported an 11% increase in quarterly earnings on Thursday.
Pfitzers chief executive officer said the acquisition will help “create a stronger company, stronger value proposition and stronger future for the Astra family.”
The company will continue to develop its drug pipeline, which includes Astra.
The new company is expected “to leverage the expertise of Pfizer in developing and commercializing products for people and the environment,” according to the news release.
The Astra acquisition is expected the largest in history, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Pfiesen said it plans to have a combined $9 billion in revenue from the deal by 2020, a 25% increase from the company last year.
“This acquisition will accelerate Pfizers long-term strategy to drive revenue growth, and will accelerate the growth of our brand in a world where access to affordable, quality medicines is a growing concern,” Read wrote in a letter to shareholders.