Thermo Fisher Exits Planned $13 Billion Takover Of COVID-19 Testing Group Qiagen

Less than half of Germany-based Qiagen shareholders agreed to support Thermo Fisher's improved $13 billion offer for the diagnostics testing group.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.  (TMO) - Get Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. Report said Thursday it will walk away from its planned acquisition of Germany-based coronavirus testing specialist Qiagen NV  (QGEN) - Get QIAGEN NV Report after failing to convince enough investors to support its improved $13 billion approach. 

Thermo Fisher said it was unable to convince enough shareholders of Qiagen to agree to the sweetened deal based on a 47% acceptance rate from the August 10 tender deadline. Thermo Fisher had improved its offer for the molecular testing supply group by around 10%, to €43.00 per share, earlier last month, and boosted the acceptance threshold to 75% of Qiagen's shareholders.

Qiagen, which had urged its shareholders to approve the sweetened offer "given that it reflects the improvements in our business performance and future prospects as a result of the coronavirus pandemic", will pay Thermo Fisher a termination fee of $95 million, the company said. 

"Thermo Fisher is a disciplined acquirer with a strong track record of executing value-creating transactions," CEO Marc Casper said in a statement. "We remain extremely well-positioned to deliver on our proven growth strategy and continue to generate significant returns for our shareholders."  

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Qiagen's Amsterdam-listed shares were marked 3.2% higher at €49.35 each following the Thermo Fisher withdraw, a 30% premium to where the stock traded in early March, when news of the first approach began to emerge. 

Thermo Fisher shares, meanwhile, were little-changed from their Wednesday closing price of $416.17, a level that pegged their year-to-date gain at around 28.1% and valued the Waltham, Mass.-based group at around $164.6 billion