Sobi said today it has halted talks on a proposal to acquire the company, without confirming weeks of speculation on the would-be buyer.
That prospective buyer was identified as Pfizer in April reports by Reuters and Bloomberg, which cited unnamed sources while adding that the pharma giant declined comment on the possibility of a deal with the Swedish-based specialty drug developer.
Speculation focused on Pfizer in part since Sobi manufactures the active pharmaceutical ingredient for ReFacto AP®/Xyntha®, a hemophilia A treatment sold by Pfizer. That supply agreement was extended in 2012 to December 21, 2020.
Sobi described the acquisition proposal evaluated by its board as “a preliminary and conditional non-binding proposal in relation to a possible offer for all shares issued by the company.”
“The Board of Directors of Sobi has terminated discussions regarding this proposal,” Sobi stated. “Sobi will continue to focus on preparations for the upcoming planned launch of Elocta and Alprolix and on building value through its diverse and growing portfolio,” the company said in a 75-word statement.
Sobi told Reuters its board terminated the takeover talks after concluding it could not recommend the deal to company owners. The company offered little elaboration.
While Sobi could continue to operate as a standalone business, a takeover may prove unavoidable, Swedbank analyst Johan Unnerus told Reuters today.
He identified a likely suitor for Sobi going forward as Biogen—a company Bloomberg also identified as having potential interest in Sobi. The companies co-market Alprolix®, a combination of the coagulation Factor IX (Recombinant) molecule combined via fusion with the protein fragment Fc; and Eloctate®, a recombinant factor VIII Fc fusion protein which is indicated for hemophilia A.
“The market is so big I wouldn't be surprised if in the end they will be part of another company,” Unnerus said.
The price of Sobi shares fell 16% as of 10:03 ET, from the June 5 closing price of SEK 131.40 ($15.71) to SEK 109.90 ($13.13).