Synthetic biology specialist Intrexon has agreed to purchase a 48% slice of aquaculture firm AquaBounty Technology, for $6 million in cash, or about $0.123 per share. The shares will be acquired from Linnaeus Capital Partners and affiliate Tethys Ocean. The purchase price represents a 49% premium on the mid-market closing price of AquaBounty’s stock yesterday. Under terms of AquaBounty charter, as soon as the acquisition is completed Intrexon will have to launch a tender offer for any and all of the other outstanding shares of AquaBounty at the same purchase price, conditional on its ability to garner agreements to acquire more than 50% of AquaBounty’s outstanding shares.

AquaBounty is leveraging gene engineering expertise to develop hybrid-farmed salmon, trout, and shrimp. Its farmed AquAdvantage® salmon are bred to include a gene from the Chinook salmon, which speeds their growth to market size. Intrexon is exploiting its modular DNA control systems to generate Better DNA™ for applications across a range of industries including human therapeutics, protein production, animal sciences, and agricultural biotechnology. The firm’s technologies are underpinned by its Ultravector™ transgene platform.

“This transaction will accelerate our efforts to play a leading role in solving the world’s emerging food shortages through biotechnology,” states Thomas Kasser, president of Intrexon’s animal science division. “AquaBounty’s pioneering work in genetically modified fish is an initial step toward creating a large-scale, efficient, and environmentally safe and sustainable global aquaculture market. We look forward to working with the AquaBounty team to improve aquaculture productivity and expand the reach of their molecular modification technology.” 

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