Sanofi to buy Belgium's Ablynx for €3.9bn

Sanofi to buy Belgium's Ablynx for €3.9bn

Sanofi to buy Belgium's Ablynx for €3.9bn

Ablynx's board unanimously agreed the Sanofi bid, which represented a 135% premium to the company's share price before Novo made its first bid in December.

Sanofi and Ablynx, a global biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of nanobodies, have entered into a definitive agreement under which Sanofi will offer to acquire all of the outstanding ordinary shares, including shares represented by American Depositary Shares (ADSs), warrants and convertible bonds of Ablynx at a price per Ablynx share of €45 in cash, which represents an aggregate equity value of approximately €3.9 billion (A$5.9bn).

The takeover will complement Sanofi's $11.6 billion purchase of Bioverativ, a spinoff from Biogen (BIIB), announced a week ago.

In addition to losing Ablynx, in March 2017 it also approached Global Blood Therapeutics, a USA biotech company focused on serious blood disorders, to discuss a potential takeover, people familiar with the situation said at the time.

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The deal also comes a few days after Sanofi agreed to buy US-based haemophilia specialist Bioverativ for $11.6 billion (See: Sanofi in pact to acquire USA biotech haemophila drugs maker Bioverativ for 11.6 bn).

Ablynx shares jumped 20% to 44.68 euros at 11:15 a.m.in Brussels.

Brandgaard said Novo Nordisk had not made a formal attempt to buy Global Blood Therapeutics and described reports of its interest in the US firm as a market rumour. SNY stock was down 1.3% at 7:05 ET today in pre-market trading. after gaining 2.6% last week.

Ablynx's most advanced treatment, called caplacizumab, is poised for approval this year for an unusual disorder in which blood clots form in small vessels throughout the body. The Belgian company estimates it could garner annual sales of €1.2 billion at its peak.

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Monday's deal announcement is the second acquisition for Sanofi in a week.

The deal is contingent on Ablynx shareholders tendering at least 75 per cent of the shares.

Novo's bid, unveiled January 8, included an upfront cash offer of 28 euros a share and additional cash payments known as contingent value rights of up to 2.50 euros per share tied to the success of two experimental medicines. But the Belgian group declined this offer, believing that it did not sufficiently reflect its value. After rejecting Novo's unsolicited offer, Ablynx and its advisers had reached out to Sanofi and other potential suitors including Merck and Roche to gauge interest, Bloomberg reported.

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