July 15, 2024

Thermo Fisher Scientific Nears $3.1 Billion Acquisition of Swedish Firm Olink with UK Antitrust Approval

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Thermo Fisher Scientific is poised to finalize its $3.1 billion acquisition of Olink, a Swedish company specializing in protein analyzers, antibody tests, and research services, following a green light from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The CMA, which launched its initial inquiry into the transaction in mid-May, announced it had investigated and cleared the acquisition, meeting its July 8 deadline for a deeper probe. This approval marks the latest regulatory milestone for Thermo Fisher, which had previously secured approvals from antitrust regulators in Iceland and Germany.

The German Bundeskartellamt’s president, Andreas Mundt, emphasized the importance of scrutinizing mergers in the life sciences sector, particularly in proteomics, a field crucial to public health. “Where a major life science company acquires an innovative biotechnology company, it is crucial to carefully analyze the markets and gain an understanding of how different activities and branches of research complement each other,” Mundt stated in a June 17 announcement. He added that the merger would result in “only insignificant market share additions” and that potential risks, such as product bundling or market foreclosure, were not expected to materialize.

The CMA echoed similar sentiments, noting that it would publish additional details on its decision, which included no conditions, at a later date.

Thermo Fisher announced its offer for Olink last October, agreeing to pay $26 per share, representing a 74% premium over Olink’s stock price at that time. The deal encompasses Olink’s high-throughput protein analysis assays, which can be run on laboratories’ existing qPCR instruments and next-generation sequencers, as well as the company’s international operations in Boston, Tokyo, and Shanghai.

Marc Casper, President and CEO of Thermo Fisher, highlighted the strategic importance of the acquisition in advancing life science research and precision medicine. “The acquisition of Olink underscores the profound impact that proteomics is having as our customers continue to advance life science research and precision medicine,” Casper said in the company’s announcement last fall.

The finalization of this deal, anticipated for mid-July, comes just as the CMA’s clearance aligns with the expiration of Thermo Fisher’s tender offer for Olink’s outstanding shares. With this regulatory approval in hand, Thermo Fisher is set to enhance its capabilities in the burgeoning field of proteomics, further cementing its position as a leader in life sciences.

Financial Desk

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