almost 4 years ago • 2 mins
Thermo Fisher reeled in a beauty on Tuesday: the scientific equipment-maker agreed to buy rival Qiagen – along with its coronavirus diagnosis kits – for $10 billion 🌡
The all-cash purchase is Thermo Fisher’s second attempt to land Netherlands-based Qiagen after previous talks fell apart in December. It might be that the deal benefited this time around from last week’s stock market sell-off: Thermo Fisher’s cash, after all, must’ve started looking mighty attractive to Qiagen as the equipment-maker watched its stock price slip.
This more-hopeful-looking deal will give Thermo Fisher control of Qiagen’s diagnostics division – which focuses on treatments for coronavirus, cancer, and so on – as well as food safety tests and CSI-style forensics. Overall, Thermo Fisher is expecting the move to save it $200 million a year in so-called synergies: that is, money it cuts from overlapping costs. That might give Qiagen’s 4,700 employees something to worry about – as if the threat of global pandemic weren’t nerve-wracking enough 😬
Some Qiagen investors might be disappointed with the price Thermo Fisher is paying: its bid of about $44 per share values the Dutch company at almost seven times last year’s sales, sure, but it’s still well short of the $50 some analysts were expecting. Then again, Thermo Fisher’s investors might not think it’s bagged itself a bargain, either: the valuation it’s paying for Qiagen is by one metric about 50% more than the recent average for US takeovers.
While the prospect of a coronavirus-damaged economy saw most companies’ stocks fall last week, some are making hay while the sun clouds over 🌤 There are biotech firms like Moderna that are working on a vaccine, for example, as well as tools that allow workers to keep calm and carry on, like video conferencing service Zoom.
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