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Qiagen stock collapses after take-over talks fall apart

The sale of the biotechnology group Qiagen from Hilden in North Rhine-Westphalia is off the table for the time being. After fruitless talks with interested parties, the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board decided that the group with its 5,200 employees should remain independent. The news triggered a dramatic drop in the price of Qiagen shares.

Andrew Ross

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Qiagen stated that the offer of the interested buyers were not convincing enough for the talk-over talks to proceed. Supervisory Board Chairman Hakan Björklund emphasized that the company could also thrive on its own. “We have a strong and differentiated portfolio of molecular testing solutions that offer the opportunity for significant growth.”

Qiagen NV lost about one-fifth of its market value on Thursday, December 26, after the Dutch biotechnology company said earlier this week that it would focus on its stand-alone business strategy, rejecting possible buyers. The company’s shares on Thursday, December 26, fell 21% to $32.91, reaching a low of $30.23 during the day.

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Qiagen take-over discussions

In November, Qiagen had announced take-over talks. The U.S. technology group Thermo Fisher Scientific was considered as a possible buyer. But the subject of sale has now been put on the back burner.

The genetic diagnostics and biotech group started in 1984 as a spin-off of the University of Düsseldorf. In 2018, the company achieved annual sales of $1.67 billion (€1.5 billion). For legal reasons, the diagnostics specialist has its headquarters with only a few employees in Venlo in the Netherlands. The largest location is Hilden near Düsseldorf with 1,300 employees. Qiagen produces instruments for laboratories and consumables for DNA tests, including pipette tips and sample tubes.

The cancellation of the MDAX company’s take-over caused the share price to collapse massively on Friday, December 27. Qiagen shares -17.93% and were almost 20% weaker on Friday, December 27, before the stock exchange opened and were trading below the $33.43 (€30) mark. On Wall Street, they had temporarily plummeted by a good 25% the day before.

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In October and November, takeover hopes caused the share price to skyrocket from under $25.63 (€23) at its peak to over $43.46 (€39). In November, the company announced that it had spoken with several interested parties.

According to analyst Sven Kürten of DZ Bank, the last word in this matter must not yet be spoken. “We believe that the bidders are still interested and could submit an offer for Qiagen at some point in the future, with or without the approval of the Qiagen Management Board and Supervisory Board,” the expert wrote in a commentary. Whether a hostile takeover bid could work is uncertain however and this may simply depress the stock price further.

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(Featured image by Austin Distel via Unsplash)

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Andrew Ross is a features writer whose stories are centered on emerging economies and fast-growing companies. His articles often look at trade policies and practices, geopolitics, mining and commodities, as well as the exciting world of technology. He also covers industries that have piqued the interest of the stock market, such as cryptocurrency and cannabis. He is a certified gadget enthusiast.