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Thermo Fisher to acquire Qiagen for $11.5 billion

By Ramla Soni

Thermo Fisher to pay €39 a share for Dutch diagnostics group

Thermo Fisher is to acquire the Dutch diagnostics group Qiagen in a $11.5 billion (€10bn, £9bn) deal, as the US science equipment maker expands its disease-testing capabilities amidst the coronavirus epidemic.

The group, which has a market capitalisation of around $122 billion and provides diagnostic tools, said buying the Dutch company would allow it to strengthen its portfolio, especially in testing for infectious diseases.

Qiagen, who is developing kits to test for Covid-19, which has infected more than 90,000 people globally and killed more than 3,000, previously provided testing equipment that was used during the SARS and swine flu outbreaks.

Thermo Fisher is to pay €39 a share for Qiagen, valuing the group at $11.5 billion, including $1.4 billion in debt. The offer represents a 23 per cent premium to Qiagen’s closing share price on Monday.

Qiagen has been working on equipment to detect Covid-19 since the outbreak began in January. Last week it said it had sent test kits to four hospitals in China for evaluation and plans to apply for emergency authorisation to sell them in the US, Korea and China.

The kits are said to provide test results in about an hour.

Qiagen’s shares were knocked last year after saying goodbye to its long-term chief executive Peer Schatz and warning on profits in October as sales slowed in China.

Shares in Qiagen were up 19 per cent in early afternoon trading in Frankfurt trading. Thermo Fisher shares were up 3 per cent in pre-market trade on Wall Street.

FURTHER READING: Healthcare company Novacyt launches new coronavirus test

FURTHER READING: Insurance firms in China implement blockchain to fast track coronavirus claims

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