May 2, 2018 / 2:02 PM / a year ago

Abcam pursues Horizon Discovery after $370 million bid rejected

LONDON (Reuters) - Biotech firm Abcam (ABCA.L) said Horizon Discovery (HZDH.L) had rejected a 270 million pound ($368 million) approach, adding it had gone public with its takeover interest to try to force the British company to open talks.

Abcam said on Wednesday that combining Horizon Discovery’s capabilities in gene editing with its own products would allow both to extend their reach and influence globally, in the latest attempt at consolidation in the red-hot pharmaceutical sector.

Horizon said it considered the approach to be highly opportunistic and that it fundamentally undervalued the company and its future prospects.

“Having met with representatives of Abcam on 19 April, and having carefully considered the unsolicited proposal, the board of Horizon Discovery Group sees little strategic rationale for combining the two companies,” it said.

It also said the approach represented a 9.9 percent premium to Horizon’s three-month volume-weighted average price of 1.65 pounds to 1 May.

Abcam, which makes antibodies, proteins and other products for researchers, said its possible share offer, valued at 181 pence a share, represented a 26 percent premium to Horizon’s closing price on May 1.

Shares in Horizon Discovery jumped 30 percent to 187.5 pence after Abcam made its offer public on Wednesday.

Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Kate Holton and Alexander Smith

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