Rare disease firm Swedish Orphan flies on mystery takeover offer
- Rare disease drug maker Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB (also known as Sobi) says that it is open to a sale amid biopharma's M&A frenzy, and that it's been offered a takeover bid. But the company's staying mum on who the would-be buyer is.
- Rumored potential buyers include Pfizer and Biogen. Sobi has a value of roughly $3.56 billion.
- The company has been working with Goldman Sachs to prepare for merger/acquisition offers.
Sobi's largest shareholder is Investor AB, which has been periodically holding talks with Sobi about a potential takeover. Sobi ,which focuses on rare disease therapeutics, makes the arthritis treatments Kineret and Orfadin.
All told, Investor AB owns about 40% of Sobi and is a serious contender. However, Pfizer already has an existing partnership with Sobi in which Sobi manufactures the hemophilia drug ReFacto.
In addition, Sobi is collaborating with Biogen to develop other blood-clotting treatments. There are several potential buy-out scenarios in play at the moment—but for now, no one is talking.
Sobi spokespeople did confirm the preliminary takeover offer, although details are scarce at the moment. "The Board confirms that it has received a preliminary and conditional non-binding proposal in relation to a possible offer for all shares issued by the company," said the company in a statement. "There can be no certainty that an offer will be made, nor as to the terms of any such offer."
Sobi's shares have soared nearly 20% on the takeover talk.