By Carlo Martuscelli
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. agreed to pay about $10.1 billion for Qiagen NV, a molecular diagnostics company, bulking up in the field of infectious-disease testing.
Thermo Fisher, based in Waltham, Mass., and Qiagen, Venlo, the Netherlands, said in a joint release that a tie-up would expand the combined companies' specialty-diagnostics portfolio, improve their commercial and geographic reach and their life-sciences offerings.
Thermo Fisher provides analytical instruments and equipment for research, analysis and diagnostics for pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology laboratories. Last year, it generated $25.54 billion in revenue. Qiagen sales last year came in at $1.53 billion.
Qiagen, listed in Frankfurt, is a life sciences and molecular diagnostics supplier, active in infectious disease testing. It has been developing a test to detect the coronavirus, which is currently being evaluated at four Chinese hospitals. Interest by several suitors, however, precedes the recent spread of the disease. In December, before China disclosed the scale of the coronavirus outbreak there, Qiagen had said it was pursuing a go-it-alone strategy amid what it said were several expressions of interest.
The market for such suppliers is consolidating, and Thermo Fisher needs to bulk up, said Ulrich Huwald, an analyst at Warburg Research.
The deal values each Qiagen share at EUR39 ($43.30) in cash, representing a premium of around 23% to Monday's closing price. Including debt of $1.4 billion, the deal is worth $11.5 billion, Thermo Fisher said.
"This acquisition provides us with the opportunity to leverage our industry-leading capabilities and R&D expertise to accelerate innovation and address emerging health-care needs," Thermo Fisher Chairman, President and Chief Executive Marc N. Casper said.
The deal is expected to be completed in the first half of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, the company said.