Bristol-Myers Squibb has announced that it is to acquire Celgene, in order to “create a premier innovative biopharma company” and expand its cancer and immunotherapy offering.

The transaction will cost around $74 billion in a cash and stock deal, under which Celgene shareholders will receive 1.0 BMS share as well as $50 in cash for each share of Celgene.

When completed, BMS shareholders are expected to own approximately 69% of the company, with Celgene shareholders owning the remaining 31%.

As part of the transaction, BMS will gain rights to Celgene's cancer therapy Revlimid (lenalidomide), as well as its CAR-T portfolio, which it acquired via its $9-billion takeover of Juno Therapeutics last year.

“Together with Celgene, we are creating an innovative biopharma leader, with leading franchises and a deep and broad pipeline that will drive sustainable growth and deliver new options for patients across a range of serious diseases,” said Giovanni Caforio, chairman and chief executive officer of BMS.

He continued, “As a combined entity, we will enhance our leadership positions across our portfolio, including in cancer and immunology and inflammation. We will also benefit from an expanded early- and late-stage pipeline that includes six expected near-term product launches. Together, our pipeline holds significant promise for patients, allowing us to accelerate new options through a broader range of cutting-edge technologies and discovery platforms.”

The combined company expects to have nine products with more than $1 billion in annual sales, as well as significant potential for growth in oncology, immunology and inflammation and cardiovascular disease.

It also proposes more than $45 billion of expected free cash flow generation over the first three full years post-closing the deal, and claims to realise run-rate cost synergies of approximately $2.5 billion by 2022.