GSK's Acquisition of Sirtris: Independence or Integration?

Posted: 4 Jun 2009

See all articles by Toby Stuart

Toby Stuart

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business; Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit

James Weber

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: April 21, 2009

Abstract

An executive from pharmaceutical company GSK must choose how much to integrate a recently acquired biotechnology firm, Sirtris. Moncef Slaoui, GSK's Global head of R&D, championed the acquisition of Sirtris to gain access to its potentially revolutionary science. Slaoui must balance the need to recoup shareholder value after paying a two-times premium for Sirtris with his desire to retain Christoph Westphal, Sirtris's co-founder and CEO, and other key individuals at the company. His desire to protect Sirtris from GSK's size and bureaucracy occurs in a period when GSK has launched major changes in its R&D organization, which focus on decentralizing and externalizing R&D, as well as revamping the resource allocation process to parallel more of a venture capital-based model. The case also explores the views of Christoph Westphal on the early challenges of the integration and the impact GSK was having on Sirtris. Can be used in conjunction with a separate case that focuses on Sirtris's business model.

Suggested Citation

Stuart, Toby E. and Weber, James, GSK's Acquisition of Sirtris: Independence or Integration? (April 21, 2009). HBS Case No. 809-026; Harvard Business School Entrepreneurial Management Unit. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1413132

Toby E. Stuart (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit ( email )

Cambridge, MA 02163
United States

James Weber

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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