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Novo Nordisk Confirms Bid for Ablynx But Faces Rejection


Novo Nordisk NVO confirmed that it has made a revised offer to buy Belgian biotech company — Ablynx NV — on Dec 22, for 2.6 billion euros ($3.1 billion). This includes a total cash consideration of EUR 28.00 per share and one Contingent Value Right ('CVR') with total potential cash payments over time of up to EUR 2.50 per share. The proposal values the Belgian company about 14% more than Novo Nordisk’s first proposal, which was made on Dec 7.

On Dec 7, Novo Nordisk first offered to acquire Ablynx in a deal worth EUR 26.75 per share in cash. However, the proposal was rejected by Ablynx's board of directors on Dec 14. On Dec 22, the company made a revised offer (as discussed above) but was again turned down by Ablynx's board the next day. In fact, the board of directors of Ablynx has so far declined to engage in any discussions despite Novo Nordisk’s repeated proposals.According to Ablynx, the proposal made by Novo Nordisk is not in the best interests of the former and fundamentally undervalues the company and its strong prospects for future growth.

While Ablynx soared above 45% on Jan 8 on takeout potential, Novo Nordiskslipped 0.09% on the same day.

Shares of Novo Nordiskhave have decreased 49.9% against the industry’s gain of 16.1% in the past one year.

Nevertheless, Novo Nordisk remains optimistic about the Ablynx acquisition. It believes that Ablynx’s lead pipeline candidate, caplacizumab, which is being evaluated for the rare bleeding disorder acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (aTTP) might complement Novo's line-up of hemophilia products.

Also, the company sees considerable opportunity in Ablynx’s other pipeline candidates and its nanobody platform.

Novo Nordisk A/S Price

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Novo Nordisk carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some better-ranked health care stocks are Exelixis, Inc. EXEL, XOMA Corporation XOMA and Sucampo Pharmaceuticals SCMP. While Exelixis and XOMA sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Sucampo carries a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Exelixis’earnings per share estimates have moved up from 72 cents to 73 cents for 2018 in the last 60 days. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise in all the last four quarters, with an average beat of 572.92%. Share price of the company surged 66.7% in 2017.

XOMA’s loss per share estimates have narrowed from $1 to 42 cents for 2018 in the last 60 days. The company pulled off a positive earnings surprise in one of the last four quarters, with an average beat of 47.92%. Share price of the company skyrocketed 537.1% in 2017.

Sucampo’s earnings per share estimates have moved up from 3 cents to $1.12 for 2017 and from $1.15 to $1.19 for 2018 in the last 60 days. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise in three of the last four quarters, with an average beat of 15.63%. Share price of the company has surged 35.8% in 2017.

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