- Complementary capabilities and resources of the two organizations create an industry-leading gene therapy company
- Audentes to operate as an independent subsidiary, with access to the global scientific and development resources of Astellas to accelerate product development and manufacturing expansion for the combined entity
- Acquisition price of US$60 per share in cash, representing a total equity value of approximately US$3 billion
- Transaction expected to be consummated in the first calendar quarter of 2020
TOKYO and SAN FRANCISCO, December 2, 2019 - Astellas Pharma Inc. (TSE: 4503, President and CEO: Kenji Yasukawa, Ph.D., “Astellas”) and Audentes Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: BOLD, Chairman and CEO: Matthew R. Patterson, “Audentes”), today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Astellas to acquire Audentes at a price of US$60.00 per share in cash, representing a total equity value of approximately US$3 billion.
“Recent scientific and technological advances in genetic medicine have advanced the potential to deliver unprecedented and sustained value to patients, and even to curing diseases with a single intervention,” said Kenji Yasukawa, President and CEO, Astellas. “Audentes has developed a robust pipeline of promising product candidates which are complementary to our existing pipeline, including its lead program AT132 for the treatment of X-Linked Myotubular Myopathy (XLMTM). By joining together with Audentes’ talented team, we are establishing a leading position in the field of gene therapy with the goal of addressing the unmet needs of patients living with serious, rare diseases.”
“We are very pleased to enter into this merger agreement with Astellas,” stated Matthew R. Patterson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Audentes. “With its focus on innovative science and a global network of research, development and commercialization resources, we believe that operating as part of the Astellas organization optimally positions us to advance our pipeline programs and serve our patients.”
The acquisition of Audentes represents a key step in the expansion of the Astellas Focus Area approach, under which Astellas strives to create innovative medicines for diseases with high unmet medical needs by identifying unique combinations of biology and therapeutic modality/technology based on emerging science. In addition to the four Primary Focus in which Astellas currently prioritizes its investment, with the acquisition of Audentes, the company is adding a fifth Primary Focus in Genetic Regulation, under which gene therapy will be a key driver of the company’s future growth.
Strategic Significance of the Acquisition
- Accesses the near-term growth opportunity of AT132, in development for the treatment of XLMTM, a serious, life-threatening, rare neuromuscular disease that is characterized by extreme muscle weakness, respiratory failure and early death.
- Accelerates the development of a robust pipeline of potentially best-in-class genetic medicines for rare neuromuscular diseases, by combining Astellas’ scientific capabilities and global resources with Audentes’ AAV gene therapy technology platform, in-house large-scale cGMP manufacturing and neuromuscular development expertise.
- Creates the opportunity for additional gene therapy partnerships and pipeline expansion through leveraging Audentes’ manufacturing capabilities and its valued relationships with patient groups, academic collaborators and scientific advisors.
Under the agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both Astellas and Audentes, Astellas will acquire Audentes through Asilomar Acquisition Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Astellas US Holding, Inc. (“Asilomar”). Asilomar will commence a tender offer for all outstanding shares of common stock of Audentes, for a price of US$60.00 per share in cash (the “Tender Offer”). Promptly upon successful completion of the Tender Offer, Asilomar will be merged into Audentes, and any remaining shares of common stock of Audentes will be canceled and converted into the right to receive the same US$60.00 per share price. The board of directors of Audentes has resolved to recommend that Audentes stockholders tender their shares to Astellas.
Financial Details and Closing Conditions
Consummation of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including US antitrust clearance and the tender of a majority of Audentes’ outstanding shares of common stock. The offer price represents a premium of 110% to Audentes’ closing share price of US$28.61 on December 2, 2019. The all-cash transaction is valued at approximately US$3 billion including the purchase of all common shares, options, restricted stock units and other securities. The Tender Offer period is expected to commence in the next few weeks and to expire 20 business days after its commencement, unless otherwise extended. If the Tender Offer conditions are not satisfied, Astellas may be required to extend the Tender Offer under certain circumstances.
Astellas is still reviewing the impact of a consummation of the transaction on its financial results for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020.
Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, acting through its affiliate Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co., Ltd., is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Astellas and Covington & Burling LLP is acting as its legal counsel.
Centerview Partners LLC is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Audentes and Fenwick & West LLP is acting as its legal counsel.