Asahi Kasei Unveils Deal to Buy Veloxis for $1.3 Billion

Asahi Kasei Corp. is buying Denmark’s Veloxis Pharmaceuticals A/S for 143.2 billion yen ($1.3 billion), the companies said, in the latest of a series of deals by Japanese drugmakers.

Asahi Kasei is offering to buy the ordinary shares and warrants of Veloxis for 6 kroner per share in a tender starting next month, they said in a statement Monday. That’s a discount to the 6.6 kroner closing price on Friday, before the news was announced. In Monday’s early trading, the stock fell by about 9% to the offer price of 6 kroner.

Veloxis shares have almost doubled in value after the drugmaker raised its profit forecast at the end of October. The company, known for its extended-release formulation of tacrolimus, used to prevent organ rejection in kidney transplant patients, was founded in 2002 as a spinoff of Lundbeck A/S.

Lundbeckfond Invest A/S, Novo Holdings A/S, the directors and management of Veloxis, which collectively own about 81.2%, have signed irrevocable agreements to tender their shares for 4.45 kroner apiece, per share for their shares and warrants.

Veloxis’s Wild Ride on Transplant Drug Has Analysts Underwhelmed

Asahi Kasei’s acquisition is the latest for Japan’s pharmaceutical companies, which have seen a wave of deals over the past year. Last week, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp. offered to buy out its drugmaking unit Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp. in a $4.5 billion deal. Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. this year closed its $62 billion takeover of Shire Plc as the Japanese company seeks to transform itself into a global drugmaker.

25 Nov 2019

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