Daily Management Review

Sanofi buys Belgium's Ablynx for € 3.9 billion


01/29/2018


The deal is another sign of M&A activity in the global biotech sector. Earlier, Ablynx rejected a purchase offer for € 2.6 billion from the Danish Novo Nordisk.



Sanofi will pay € 45 per share in cash to Ablynx with a 21.2% premium on the closing price on Friday.

The French company said that Ablynx would increase the long-term value for its shareholders. At the same time, the takeover is expected to have a neutral impact on Sanofi's earnings per share in 2018 and 2019.

Sanofi is already one of the major pharmaceutical partners of Ablynx after the deal in July 2017, devised to find new methods for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.

Having bought the Belgian company, Sanofi will have access to the most promising asset of Ablynx, the experimental drug Caplacizumab for the treatment of a rare bleeding disorder.

At the beginning of January 2018, the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk made a proposal to acquire Ablynx, assessing the Belgian company at 2.6 billion euros (3.2 billion dollars) or 28 euros per share. The management of Ablynx felt that the company was undervalued.

The Sanofi offer represents a 48% premium to the offer of Novo Nordisk.

According to informed sources, after the rejection of Novo Nordisk's proposal, the Belgian company was expecting offers from Sanofi, Merck & Co. (outside the US and Canada - MSD) and Roche.

Ablynx’s most promising drug under development is Caplacizumab, intended for the treatment of acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. In February 2017, the Belgian company sent an application for approval to the EMA. The filing of an application with the FDA is scheduled for the first half of 2018.

In addition, Ablynx is developing a drug for the treatment of respiratory syncytial virus ALX-017. Currently, the IIb stage of clinical trials is under way.

This month, there was a surge in multibillion-dollar deals in the field of biotechnology. For example, the American biotechnology company Celgene, specializing in drugs for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases, announced the acquisition of its competitor Juno Therapeutics for $ 9 billion.

These transactions are caused by the need for large pharmaceutical companies to gain access to new promising medicines, developed by their smaller competitors.

Last week, Sanofi agreed to buy an American Bioverativ, which specializes in preparations for the treatment of hemophilia and other rare blood diseases, for $ 11.6 billion. This is Sanofi's largest transaction in seven years.

source: reuters.com






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