Type of information: Company acquisition
Acquired company: Ablynx (Belgium)
Acquiring company: Sanofi (France)
Amount: €3.9 billion
- • On January 29, 2018, Sanofi and Ablynx 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. The transaction was unanimously approved by both the Sanofi and Ablynx Boards of Directors.
- Under the terms of the agreement, Sanofi will launch public offers to acquire all of the outstanding ordinary shares (including shares represented by ADSs), warrants and convertible bonds of Ablynx in cash. Sanofi has complied with the formalities set forth in the Belgian takeover legislation and filed the mandatory documents with the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA). A notice was published by the FSMA on its website.
- The consummation of the public offers is subject to customary conditions, including the tender of securities representing at least 75% of the outstanding shares of Ablynx at the end of the initial acceptance period of the Belgian Tender Offer, and the receipt of required regulatory approvals. The public offers are expected to be launched by the beginning of the second quarter of 2018.
- In accordance with the Belgian requirement of certainty of funds, Sanofi has entered into a bank credit facility, BNP Paribas Fortis SA/NA acting as the sole credit facility arranger. Subject to the satisfaction or waiver of customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close by the end of the second quarter 2018.
- Morgan Stanley and Lazard are acting as financial advisors to Sanofi. J.P. Morgan is acting as financial advisor to Ablynx. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and NautaDutilh are serving as legal counsels to Sanofi. Eubelius CVBA, Goodwin Procter LLP and Linklaters LLP are serving as legal counsels to Ablynx.
- A week after Sanofi purchased Bioverativ, the french group continues to expand its pipeline in rare blood disorders. Ablynx is developing Nanobodies. These proprietary therapeutic proteins are based on single-domain antibody fragments that contain the unique structural and functional properties of naturally-occurring heavy chain only antibodies. Ablynx has a pipeline of more than 45 proprietary and partnered candidates for a wide range of therapeutic areas such as hematology, inflammation, immuno-oncology and respiratory diseases. Eight Nanobodies have entered clinical development.
- Ablynx's most-advanced product in development is caplacizumab (anti-vWF Nanobody), a wholly-owned development program for the treatment of acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (aTTP). The product is already filed in the European Union and expected to be filed in the U.S. during the first half of this year. Caplacizumab, if approved, would be the first-in-class treatment for this acute, life-threatening disease.
- The addition of caplacizumab to Sanofi's platform strengthens its position in rare blood disorders, complementing the recently announced agreements to acquire Bioverativ and obtain global rights for fitusiran from Alnylam.
- Ablynx's ALX-0171, an inhaled anti-RSV Nanobody, currently in Phase 2b, is a potential breakthrough for the symptomatic treatment of RSV infections-for which there is no widely used therapy available-and is very complementary to Sanofi Pasteur RSV associated programs.
- The addition of Ablynx is anticipated to drive meaningful long-term value for Sanofi's shareholders by enhancing its pipeline and research capabilities. Including R&D expenses, the acquisition is expected to be neutral to Business EPS in 2018 and 2019. Sanofi hasalso announced that the group intend sto maintain and support the Ablynx science center in Ghent.
Related: Hematological diseases - Inflammatory diseases