Sanofi To Buy Us Haemophilia Group Bioverativ For 116 Billion | The News Amed
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Sanofi To Buy Us Haemophilia Group Bioverativ For 116 Billion

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PARIS – French healthcare group Sanofi has agreed to buy U.S. haemophilia specialist Bioverativ for $11.6 billion, in a deal which it said would boost earnings and strengthen its presence in treatments for rare diseases.

The move comes at a time of renewed interest by large drugmakers in smaller biotech firms and predictions by some experts that 2018 will see a substantial pick-up in mergers and acquisitions.

Sanofi has agreed to buy all of the outstanding shares of Bioverativ for $105 per share in cash, marking a premium of 64 percent to Bioverativ’s closing price on January 19.

Bioverativ, a maker of haemophilia drugs, was separated from Biogen Inc early last year.

The agreed transaction marks Sanofi’s successful return to deal-making after its failure to land major takeovers in recent years. It is its biggest acquisition since the 2011 takeover of U.S. biotech company Genzyme for around $20 billion.

Sanofi lost out on buying California-based cancer specialist Medivation to Pfizer in 2016, and also missed acquiring Swiss biotech company Actelion, which was bought by Johnson & Johnson last year.

“With Bioverativ, we welcome a leader in the growing haemophilia market,” Sanofi Chief Executive Olivier Brandicourt said.

The market dealing with treatments for haemophilia is an important one that is evolving rapidly as new drugs change the landscape. Further ahead, gene therapy promises to disrupt traditional approaches to tackling the inherited condition.

Sanofi said the sector had around $10 billion in annual sales, dealing with 181,000 people affected worldwide. It added that haemophilia represented the largest market for rare diseases and was set to grow by more than 7 percent per year through to 2022.

Sanofi expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to its business earnings per share in the full 2018 financial year and up to 5 percent accretive for the following year.

It added it would fund the takeover with a mixture of existing cash resources and a debt issue.

“We have the means to make further takeovers,” added Brandicourt on a conference call.

Sanofi said it expected to achieve a return on its invested capital (ROIC) in excess of the cost of capital within three years. The French group also expects to preserve its strong credit rating.

This month Celgene agreed to pay up to $7 billion to take over Impact Biomedicines and the U.S. company is also said to be circling Juno Therapeutics.

In Europe, Novo Nordisk has offered $3.1 billion for Ablynx and Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical plans to buy TiGenix for $630 million.

The spate of deal-making follows a relatively subdued 2017 for biotech M&A.

Lazard advised Sanofi on the deal, while Guggenheim Securities and J.P. Morgan advised Bioverativ.

Additional reporting by Ben Hirschler in London and Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru;

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Rarest White Diamond Ever To Be Sold In London

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LONDON – A flawless diamond, the size of a large strawberry, is expected to fetch a world record price when it comes to market at Sotheby’s in London this month.

Weighing just over 102 carats, the round, brilliant white stone is smaller than a 118-carat oval diamond sold in Hong Kong in 2013, which currently holds the record price per carat.

But Sotheby‘s, which also handled that Hong Kong sale, expects the smaller stone’s rarity and high quality will see it attract an even higher price.

Slideshow (5 Images)

“That (stone sold in Hong Kong) fetched $260,000 a carat, currently the world record for any colorless diamond. This one being a round brilliant cut – the asking price will be north of that,” Patti Wong, chairman of Sotheby’s Diamonds told Reuters.

The diamond is the only stone over 100 carats to have been given the highest grades in every criteria by the Gemological Institute of America, which judges a precious stone’s quality, Sotheby’s said.

It has not disclosed the asking price for the stone, which will be sold in a private sale.

(This story corrects weight of other diamond to 118, not 163, carats in second paragraph and specifies throughout this is private sale, not auction.)

Writing by Mark Hanrahan in London;

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Rarest White Diamond Ever To Be Auctioned In London

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LONDON – A flawless diamond, the size of a large strawberry, is expected to fetch a world record price when it goes on sale at Sotheby’s in London this month.

Weighing just over 102 carats, the round, brilliant white stone is smaller than a 163-carat oval diamond sold in Hong Kong in 2013, which currently holds the record price per carat.

But Sotheby‘s, which also handled that Hong Kong sale, expects the smaller stone’s rarity and high quality will see it attract an even higher price.

Slideshow (5 Images)

“That (stone sold in Hong Kong) fetched $260,000 a carat, currently the world record for any colorless diamond. This one being a round brilliant cut – the asking price will be north of that,” Patti Wong, chairman of Sotheby’s Diamonds told Reuters.

The diamond is the only stone over 100 carats to have been given the highest grades in every criteria by the Gemological Institute of America, which judges a precious stone’s quality, Sotheby’s said.

It has not disclosed the asking price for the stone, which will be sold in a private sale.

Writing by Mark Hanrahan in London;

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Israeli Archaeologists Unearth 1800-year-old Mosaic

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CAESAREA, Israel – A 1,800-year-old mosaic of toga-clad men dating back to the Roman era has been unearthed in Israel, archaeologists said on Thursday.

The mosaic was discovered during the excavation of a building from the Byzantine period – some 300 years younger than the mosaic it was on top of – in the coastal city of Caesarea.

“The surprise was actually that we found two beautiful monuments from the glorious days of Caesarea,” Peter Gendelman, co-director of excavation for the Israel Antiquities Authority, told Reuters of the building and mosaic.

Caesarea was a vibrant Roman metropolis built in honor of Emperor Augustus Caesar by King Herod, who ruled Judea from 37 BC until his death in 4 BC.

Slideshow (5 Images)

The excavated portion of the mosaic, which the antiquities authority said was 3.5 meters by 8 meters in size, depicts three toga-clad men, as well as geometric patterns and an inscription in Greek, which is damaged.

If the mosaic came from a mansion, the figures could have been the owners, or if it was a public building, they may have been the mosaic’s donors or members of the city council, Gendelman said.

The mosaic was of a high artistic standard, with about 12,000 stones per square meter, the antiquities authority said.

Israel is undertaking the largest conservation and reconstruction project in the country in the Caesarea National Park, the antiquities team said. The project aims to reconstruct a Crusaders-era bridge.

Reporting by Rami Amichai; Writing by Mark Hanrahan in London;

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