Sanofi to acquire Ablynx for $5.9 Billion

Sanofi and Ablynx, a global biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of nanobodies, have 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 (A$5.9bn). The transaction was unanimously approved by both the Sanofi and Ablynx boards of directors.

The acquisition of Ablynx continues Sanofi’s commitment to breakthrough innovation, focused on technologies addressing multiple disease targets with single multi-specific molecules.

Nanobodies are a novel class of proprietary next generation biologicals.  Ablynx is at the leading edge of nanobody technology supporting a deep pipeline of more than 45 proprietary and partnered candidates for a wide range of therapeutic areas such as haematology, inflammation, immuno-oncology and respiratory diseases. Eight nanobodies have entered clinical development.

According to the Sanofi press statement, Sanofi is committed to accelerating development and maximising the commercial potential of Ablynx’s ongoing and emerging programs.

Sanofi’s CEO Olivier Brandicourt commented, “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. This acquisition builds on a successful existing partnership. We are also pleased to reaffirm our commitment to Belgium, where we have invested significantly over the years in our state-of-the-art biologics manufacturing facility in Geel. We intend to maintain and support the Ablynx science centre in Ghent.”

Ablynx’s CEO Edwin Moses noted, “Since our founding in 2001, our team has been focused on unlocking the power of our Nanobody technology for patients.  The results of our work are validated by clinical data. As we look ahead, we believe Sanofi’s global infrastructure, commitment to innovation and commercial capabilities will accelerate our ability to deliver our pipeline.  Our board of directors feels strongly that this transaction represents compelling value for shareholders and maximises the potential of our pipeline to the benefit of all stakeholders.”

The addition of Ablynx is anticipated to drive meaningful long-term value for Sanofi’s shareholders by enhancing its pipeline and research capabilities.

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.

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