Back in January, after Chelsea Therapeutics (CHTP) had secured a positive vote from an FDA advisory panel for its hypotension drug Northera, CEO Joe Oliveto told me (and investors) that his preferred exit strategy was to sell the company rather than market Northera on its own. The FDA approved Northera in February and since then, we've all been waiting to see if Oliveto could deliver on the takeout expectation that he set.
Thursday, Oliveto came through. Lundbeck, the Danish speciality pharma company, is buying Chelsea Therapeutics for $6.44 per share plus a contingent value right (CVR) worth another $1.50 per share, tied to Northera sales milestones. All in, the deal values Chelsea at $7.94 per share, or $658 million. Chelsea shares closed Wednesday at $5, so shareholders get an immediate 29% premium or 59% if the value of the CVR is fully realized.
Oliveto and his team deserve a lot of credit for cleaning up some messy Northera clinical trials, scoring at the FDA advisory panel, securing the drug's approval and now delivering on the exit strategy that everyone wanted.