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Sanofi On A Buyout Spree This Month: Announces Ablynx Acquisition For $4.8 Billion

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Sanofi SNY has recently announced plans to acquire the Belgian biotech company, Ablynx for €3.9 billion ($4.8 billion). This is the second big deal announced this month by the company after its offer to acquire Bioverativ Inc. BIVV. Per the latest deal, Sanofi will acquire all the outstanding ordinary shares, including shares represented by American Depositary Shares, warrants and convertible bonds of Ablynx for €45 per share in cash. The transaction has been approved by both boards.

Following the news, shares of Sanofi slipped about 1%. The stock has gained 13.3%, underperforming the industry's 28.1% rally over a year.

 

With Ablynx's acquisition, Sanofi expects to expand its late stage pipeline and strengthen its platform for growth inrare blood disorders. The company sees considerable opportunity in Ablynx's other pipeline candidates and its nanobody platform. Ablynx's most-advanced candidatein development is caplacizumab (anti-vWF Nanobody), which is being evaluated for the rare bleeding disorder acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. A European filing for the same has been already done and the same in the United States is expected to be done in the first half of 2018. The addition of caplacizumab will complement Sanofi's portfolio of rare blood disorders following the acquisition of Bioverativ and an earlier deal to obtain global rights for fitusiran from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ALNY. Ablynx's ALX-0171, an inhaled anti-Respiratory Syncytial Virus ("RSV") nanobody, currently in phase IIb, is a potential breakthrough for the symptomatic treatment of RSV infections.

Sanofi expects the acquisition to be accretive to earnings per share in 2018 and 2019.

Sanofi has also significantly stepped up its acquisition and alliance activity over the past few years. The deal is line with Sanofi's long-term outlook to strengthen its leadership in rare diseases. The addition of Ablynx is expected to drive meaningful long-term value for Sanofi's shareholders by enhancing its pipeline and research capabilities. 

We remind investors, that the Danish company Novo Nordisk NVO also made an offer to buy Ablynx for €2.6 billion. However, Novo Nordisk's offer was turned down by Ablynx twice. According to Ablynx, the proposal made by Novo Nordisk was not in the best interests of the former and undervalued the company and marred its future growth prospects. Novo Nordisk however confirmed that it will not be making a revised proposal.

 

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The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

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