Sanofi agrees €3.9bn deal for Belgian biotech Ablynx

French group beats interest from Novo Nordisk to make second major acquisition in a week

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Sanofi has seen off interest from rival Novo Nordisk to acquire Belgian biopharma Ablynx, agreeing to buy the company for €3.9bn in its second major acquisition this month.

Ablynx’s board has agreed to a €45 per share offer from Sanofi, 47 per cent more than Novo Nordisk offered earlier this month and 135 per cent higher than Ablynx’s share price before Novo’s first bid in December.

Novo had hoped to use the addition of Ablynx to boost performance in its flagging haematology division, but the Belgian group rebuffed repeated offers, saying they “fundamentally undervalued” Ablynx’s prospects.

On Monday, however, Ablynx chief executive Edwin Moses said the deal with Sanofi ”represents compelling value for shareholders and maximises the potential of our pipeline to the benefit of all stakeholders”.

Sanofi CEO Olivier Brandicourt added that the acquisition “builds on a successful existing partnership” and strengthen Sanofi’s “platform for growth in rare blood disorders.

The announcement comes exactly a week after the Paris-based group announced an $11.6bn deal to buy Bioverativ, another biotech that focuses on blood disorders.

Source: Financial Times

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