Drug Research
Drug Discovery & Development

Ablynx rejects EUR2.6bn takeover offer from Novo Nordisk

PBR Staff Writer Published 09 January 2018

Ablynx has rejected a takeover proposal of around €2.6bn from Novo Nordisk, calling it as unsolicited and it fundamentally undervalues the company.

The board of Ablynx said that in the interests of all its stakeholders, it has come to a unanimous conclusion that the proposal also undervalues its future prospects of becoming a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company.

The Belgian pharma company revealed that it was the second time that Novo Nordisk had approached it for a takeover proposal in the month of December 2017.

The latest offer from the Danish pharma company is €30.50 per share in cash, which includes a €2.50 per share in contingent value rights (CVR), while the first offer made in early December was €26.75 per share.

Ablynx CEO Edwin Moses said: “After careful consideration, the Ablynx Board of Directors unanimously determined that Novo Nordisk's proposal is not in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders as it fundamentally undervalues caplacizumab, the Ablynx pipeline, platform, technology, people, and know how.

“The Board sees no merit in ceding control of its assets without full upfront value recognition for shareholders and believes the proposed consideration and a complex instrument like a CVR does not constitute a basis for further discussions at this time.”

Caplacizumab is an experimental drug developed for the treatment of acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (aTTP), a rare bleeding disorder.

Novo Nordisk said that the combination of caplacizumab with its global haematology franchise and global resources would be a compelling opportunity and would help in realizing full potential of Ablynx's portfolio.

Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen said: “Novo Nordisk intends to use its full suite of regulatory, scientific and marketing expertise to complement the existing strong management and medical team at Ablynx in order to optimise the development and global commercialisation of caplacizumab for the benefit of patients suffering from aTTP.

“The proposed transaction is attractive for Novo Nordisk and is in line with Novo Nordisk's stated strategy to invest in its Biopharm operations. Ahead of the rapidly approaching potential EMA approval of caplacizumab, we believe now is the right time to consider a transaction that maximizes value for all of Ablynx's stakeholders.”

However, Novo Nordisk disclosed that Ablynx’s board of directors had declined from carrying out any discussions with it, in spite of its two proposals.

Image: Novo Nordisk headquarters in Bagsværd, Denmark. Photo: courtesy of Novo Nordisk A/S.