Mergers, Acquisitions & Asset Sales Analysis – October 2019

Although briskness in alliances partially offset sluggishness in M&A, October was far less dynamic than September for strategic deal making within the diagnostics sector. Here’s an overview of the key deals that did come down over the 4-week period beginning in late September 2019.

M&A activity was relatively slow in terms of both deal volume and impact. The biggest news was the Sept. 26 announcement that Illumina and Pac Biosciences had decided to postpone their $1.2 billion cash merger, which was first announced in November 2018 and expected to close in mid-2019, until the end of the year. The snag, according to SEC filings, is regulatory delay, specifically, the antitrust concerns of the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Illumina will pump $6 million in cash into PacBio to sustain the company’s sagging operations over the next three months. Illumina also has the option to extend the merger to March 31, 2020. Illumina is also on the hook for up to $43 million more in cash if it extends the deadline again, depending on the date it exercises the option.

Antitrust regulatory approval bottlenecks were also behind Danaher’s decision to sell off three of its Life Science businesses to lab equipment supplier Sartorius for $750 million in cash. The companies, which had combined 2018 revenues of $140 million, include Danaher’s:

  • Forte Bio biomolecular characterization business;
  • SoloHill microcarrier technology business; and
  • Chromatography hardware and resins business.

The sales clear the way for and is contingent on the completion of Danaher’s $21.4 billion acquisition of GE Biopharma, which is scheduled to close in Q1 2020.

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