Sanofi shares are trading lower Monday, following news the French drugmaker has secured a deal to buy Belgian biotech business Ablynx. Sanofi’s offer has been approved by the Ablynx board, despite strong interest from rival Novo Nordisk.
By 1140 BST, Sanofi shares were 0.65% lower at €73.00, while the Ablynx share price gained 19.61% to €44.40. Novo Nordisk shares, meanwhile, were trading down 1.59% at DKK343.95.
Second major acquisition for Sanofi
Monday's deal announcement is the second acquisition for Sanofi in a week. The French drugmaker announced it had agreed a deal with US haemophilia specialist Bioverativ, for $11.6 billion, Monday last week.
This latest purchase of Ablynx is seen as a good strategic fit for Sanofi, particularly in the wake of its Biovertiv acquisition.
Sanofi has offered some €45 per share for Ablynx, representing a valuation of around €3.9 billion. Both the Sanofi and Ablynx boards have approved the deal.
“With Ablynx, we continue to advance the strategic transformation of our Research and Development, expanding our late-stage pipeline and strengthening our platform for growth in rare blood disorders,” said Sanofi CEO, Olivier Brandicourt.
“Since our founding in 2001, our team has been focused on unlocking the power of our Nanobody technology for patients, said Edwin Moses, Ablynx’s CEO.
“Our Board of Directors feels strongly that this transaction represents compelling value for shareholders and maximizes the potential of our pipeline to the benefit of all stakeholders,” Moses added.
Sanofi expands R&D possibilities
As a number of larger pharmaceutical firms are seeking to expand their potential offerings through the purchase of smaller, focused biotech companies, this latest purchase underscores Sanofi’s ambition to break new ground and deliver value to its investors, too.
By adding Ablynx and Biovertiv to its business, Sanofi has strengthened its rare blood disorder platform and is also providing more investment into the area.
“The addition of caplacizumab (Ablynx’s most advanced product) 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,” Sanofi’s statement read.