Origin Technologies makes $1.5bn offer to buy Affymetrix

20 March 2016 (Last Updated March 20th, 2016 18:30)

Origin Technologies has made an offer of around $1.5bn to acquire US-based medical technology firm Affymetrix, topping a $1.3bn bid from Thermo Fisher Scientific made this January.

Origin Technologies has made an offer of around $1.5bn to acquire US-based medical technology firm Affymetrix, topping a $1.3bn bid from Thermo Fisher Scientific made this January.

Origin is owned by a group of former Affymetrix executives, who intend to accelerate genomics for precision medicine and other critical applications.

The company will pay $16.10 per share to acquire Affymetrix, representing a 75% premium to its closing share price of $9.21 on the last trading day, before the announcement of Thermo Fisher Scientific.

“Our offer presents a compelling opportunity for Affymetrix' stockholders to realise superior value through an attractive premium.”

Origin Technologies president Wei Zhou said: "Our offer presents a compelling opportunity for Affymetrix' stockholders to realise superior value through an attractive premium, along with a transaction structure and customary closing conditions, similar to the offer from Thermo.

"We have tremendous respect for Affymetrix and its leadership team, and believe that our unique insights and desire to accelerate innovation at the company will result in advances in the science of genomics and related scientific breakthroughs in human health and life sciences."

If a merger agreement is signed with Affymetrix, Origin intends to complete the deal by the end of the second quarter this year.

According to Affymetrix, Origin appears to be a newly-formed shell entity with no assets of which the company is aware and whose sole source of funding for the proposed transaction is $1.5bn in potential debt commitments.

Affymetrix CEO and president Frank Witney said: "We held preliminary discussions in the fall of 2015 with individuals who became principals and potential backers of Origin, and in November 2015 I invited them to submit a written proposal if they had serious interest in a strategic transaction with Affymetrix.

"The board of directors of Affymetrix is firmly committed to carrying out its fiduciary duties and maximising value for our stockholders, while at the same time complying with the customary provisions of our merger agreement with Thermo Fisher."

Depending on the analysis undertaken by its advisers, Affymetrix said Origin's offer falls materially short of the funds that would be needed to complete the transaction, including a termination fee payable to Thermo Fisher.

Affymetrix provides products to the customers in various sectors, comprising of life sciences and translational research, molecular diagnostics, reproductive health and agricultural biotechnology.

The company offers a range of antibodies, multiplex RNA, and protein and single-cell assays, which serve cytometry market segment, as well as single-cell biology, immunotherapy and infectious disease research.