Picture: REUTERS/AMMAR AWAD
Picture: REUTERS/AMMAR AWAD

Thermo Fisher Scientific ended its $12bn agreement to purchase Qiagen after its tender offer for the Dutch maker of medical testing equipment fell short, with activist investor Davidson Kempner Capital Management leading opposition to one of the biggest deals in the health sector in 2020.

Only about 47% of Qiagen shares were tendered, Thermo Fisher said in a statement on Thursday, meaning the minimum threshold for acceptance of the proposed deal had not been met. Qiagen will pay Thermo Fisher a reimbursement of $95m, according to the statement.

Davidson Kempner is “pleased that the majority of investors have rejected the wholly inadequate offer made by Thermo Fisher Scientific”, according to an e-mailed statement from the fund manager.

Qiagen “respects the views of shareholders” and will focus on hitting its financial targets this year and through 2021, the company said in a statement. It plans to close its acquisition of NeuMoDx and expects the pandemic to continue supporting increased demand for its portfolio of molecular diagnostics products.

Some shareholders had been seeking a higher price for Qiagen than the €43 per share Thermo Fisher had offered. Davidson Kempner had said that a price between €48 and €52 a share was more appropriate and had urged others to reject Thermo Fisher’s offer, which had been increased from an initial €39.

Qiagen shares traded in the Netherlands were up 0.6% following the announcement. Shares of Thermo Fisher declined 0.4% to $414.63 in New York.

The Dutch company has ramped up production in 2020 to supply tests and chemicals for the coronavirus. The company in July said annual sales may rise as much as 18%, fuelled by the pandemic.

The purchase would have ranked as one of Thermo Fisher’s largest after the company spent $13.6bn for Life Technologies Corporation to gain DNA-testing capabilities in 2014.

Bloomberg

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