Astrazeneca Plc effectively blocked a USD 7.6bn takeover of Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB by withholding its 8 percent stake in the drugmaker from a buyout offer by Advent International and Singapore wealth fund GIC, according to people familiar with the situation.
The UK drugmaker's opposition meant the offer fell short of the 90 percent threshold needed for approval, torpedoing what would have been the largest take-private deal in European healthcare sector this year. Sobi lost a quarter of its value.
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In 2015, Genmab partnered with relatively unknown biotech firm Biontech. Reflecting on how far Genmab has come since, CEO Jan van de Winkel is still confident that partnerships, rather than acquisitions, are the way forward. If it had acquired Biontech at the time, the CEO speculates Genmab may have put a stop to other activities – including the Covid-19 vaccine efforts that went on to save millions of lives. This and fairness are worth remembering as biotech firms are increasingly strapped for cash, van de Winkel reflects.