Sanofi fights off Novo Nordisk to acquire Ablynx as Biotech M&A activity booms with more to come

by | 29 Jan, 2018

Nordstrom Kohl's Target Macys

Sanofi failed to acquire Swiss biotech firm Actelion last year but is now making up for it

French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi beat Danish rival Novo Nordisk in a bidding war to acquire a Belgian biopharma firm named Ablynx, agreeing a deal to buy the company for €3.9bn, a 48 per cent higher offer than its competitor. 

Ablynx rebuffed Novo Nordisk’s offer to buy the business for €2.6 billion earlier this month, saying the offer “fundamentally undervalues Ablynx and its strong prospects for continued growth and value creation.”

The main attraction for Novo was Ablynx’s experimental drug Caplacizumab, designed to treat a rare blood disorder named thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, which would have complemented Novo’s line-up of blood products focused on haemophilia.

The deal is another sign of accelerating mergers and acquisition activity in the global biotech sector. This month has seen a surge in major biotech deals, with Sanofi also buying Bioverativ (a firm that focuses on blood disorders) for a cool $11.6 billion last week, as well as Celgene paying $9 billion for cancer specialist Juno Therapeutics earlier in January.

Last year, mergers and acquisitions in the ‘life sciences’ industry (which includes biotech, food processing, biomedical devices, pharmaceuticals etc) totalled $200 billion, led by Johnson & Johnson’s $30 billion acquisition of Actelion and Gilead Science’s grab of Kite Pharma, with almost $12 billion. 

Consultancy firm Ernst & Young argued in a report this month that 2018’s activity should exceed last year’s total.

E&Y said in a statement: “We expect that in 2018 the total value of life sciences M&A should once again surpass US$200 billion, as the fundamental drivers of competition and pricing pressure in core therapeutic battlefields intensify, as the downstream effects of US tax reform materialize and as new sources of capital from outside the traditional centers of life sciences M&A increasingly join the fray. 

Related: Hot stocks to watch for 2018

Nordstrom Kohl's Target Macys

The Invstr chart shows how Sanofi shares gained while Novo Nordisk shares made losses after they were beaten over the Ablynx acquisition

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Oil's Slick Upward Move

Technocratic officialdom just declared UBS, Zurich Insurance, Nestle, and in fact, the entire Swiss stock exchange, 'off-limits.' They've done what, now?

Once upon a time, a complex myriad of red tape allowed Swiss stocks to be traded across the European Union (EU). Brussels said enough's enough to that and decided to craft one deal to rule them all. While that was being drafted, a Swiss subplot started to boil. Elections, euro-skepticism, and trade unionists became a focal point, and the EU's immovable deal hit a Switzerland's unstoppable sentiment. The treaty crumpled.

In short, the EU just sent the bloc's fourth-largest exchange packing. The SIX, valued at $1.7 trillion with Nestle and Novartis on its register, is out it's own bounds. We can't invest in it anymore!

It's hard to tell who has this worst. For a start, Swiss companies may be forced to other stock exchanges outside Switzerland. A few already have. Investors still with access could end up paying more for shares as, with a European third of orders gone, brokers recoup money by setting higher asking prices. And the officials behind all this? Truly at each other's throats. 

Within the political mire, many hoped both sides could iron out their differences and keep the "equivalence" agreement going. Nope. Switzerland is furious with the EU for what it sees as a flex of power in front of Britain, still in its Brexit muddle. Creating a theatre, it sounds like Brussels is shouting 'don't mess with us!' in the direction of the UK, now teetering closer to a no-deal cliff edge. As Brussels endures its own leadership merry-go-round, Downing Street doesn’t even know to whom it should address its strongly worded letters…

All this couldn't happen to British stocks, could it? Could it?!

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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © INVSTR LTD. 2018

Risk Disclosure:

Invstr is a technology platform, not a registered broker-dealer or investment adviser. Invstr does not offer its own recommendations of any security or provide its own research to any user regarding any security transaction or order.

Please note, investing involves risk and investments may lose value. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Brokerage services of US-traded securities, including fractional trading, are provided to Invstr users by DriveWealth, LLC a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA/SIPC. DriveWealth may not establish investment accounts to residents of certain jurisdictions. 

DriveWealth provides no tax, legal, or investment advice of any kind, nor does DriveWealth give advice or offer opinions with respect to the nature, potential value, or suitability of any securities transaction or investment strategy. DriveWealth acts as the clearing firm for securities transactions entered on the Invstr mobile platform. DriveWealth is not affiliated with Invstr. Invstr does not participate in DriveWealth’s decision-making.

There is no minimum initial deposit required to open an investing account with DriveWealth. Expenses and Fees associated with the DriveWealth platform in conjunction with Beanstox includes either a monthly membership fee of $4.99 with a commission charge of $0.01 per share* or, in the event the membership fee is not paid, a commission charge of $0.0125 per share applies, subject to a minimum of $2.99 per transaction. There are no monthly minimum fees, or required ongoing minimum account balance. For non-resident aliens, there is a one-time tax verification fee of $5.00 (representing Form W-8BEN pass-through processing cost). View a full list of our fees at http://bit.ly/DWFees

The monthly subscription charge is four dollars and ninety-nine cents (US$4.99) per month plus one cent (US$0.01) per share traded (as examples, for a Transaction of 0.90 shares, the per share traded charge is one cent (US$0.01), and for a Transaction of 1.6 shares, the per share traded charge would be two cents ($0.02), and the quarterly subscription charge is fourteen dollars and ninety-nine cents (US$14.97) every 3 months plus one cent (US$0.01) per share traded. The monthly and quarterly subscription charges may be greater or less depending on additional services offered by a DriveWealth partners as part of the subscription model offering, or based on any subsidies provided by a DriveWealth partner as part of the subscription model offering. For non-resident aliens, there is a one-time tax verification fee of $5.00 (representing Form W-8BEN pass-through processing cost).View a full list of our fees at http://bit.ly/DWFees

This communication is not an offer or solicitation to purchase or sell securities. Investing in securities carries risk, including the loss of principal. Past performance is not indicative of future returns, which may vary. Online trading has inherent risk due to system response and access times that may be affected by various factors, including but not limited to market conditions and system performance. An investor should understand such facts before trading. The risks associated with investing in international securities, including US-listed ADRs and ETFs that contain non-US securities include, among others, country/political risk relating to the government in the home country; exchange rate risk if the country's currency is devalued; and inflationary/purchasing power risks if the currency of the home country becomes less valuable as the general level of prices for goods and services rises. Before investing in an ETF, an investor should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expense of the investment company carefully. ETF prospectuses are accessible within the mobile application via a link under each company’s “Description.”

A fractional share is a share of equity ownership that is less than one full share. Fractional share investing has certain limitations and restrictions that investors should understand prior to purchasing fractional shares: ownership of less than one full share does not give the fractional share owner the right to vote on company matters; fractional shares are non-transferrable, meaning they cannot be transferred to another brokerage firm; and fractional share orders will be accepted as market orders only. For more information and details on fractional shares, and any associated limitations or restrictions please visit: https://drivewealth.com/fractional-shares-disclosure

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