“Sanofi and Translate Bio have a shared commitment to innovation in the mRNA space. With Sanofi’s long-standing expertise in developing and commercializing vaccines and other innovative medicines on a global scale, Translate Bio’s mRNA technology is now even better positioned to reach more people, faster,” said Ronald Renaud, Chief Executive Officer, Translate Bio. “The talented and dedicated Translate Bio team has built the foundation of a strong mRNA platform. Our expertise coupled with that of Sanofi has driven significant progress under the collaboration thus far, and we believe that this acquisition will strengthen the team’s ability to achieve the full potential of the mRNA technology.”
In June 2018, Sanofi and Translate Bio entered into a collaboration and exclusive license agreement to develop mRNA vaccines which was further expanded in 2020 to broadly address current and future infectious diseases. There are two ongoing mRNA vaccine clinical trials under the collaboration, the COVID-19 vaccine Phase 1/2 study with results expected in Q3 2021 and the mRNA seasonal influenza vaccine Phase 1 trial with results due in Q4 2021. The acquisition builds on Sanofi’s establishment of a first-of-its kind vaccines mRNA Center of Excellence.
On the therapeutic side, Translate Bio has an early-stage pipeline in cystic fibrosis and other rare pulmonary diseases. In addition, discovery work is ongoing in diseases that affect the liver, and Translate Bio’s MRTTM platform may be applied to various classes of treatments, such as therapeutic antibodies or vaccines in areas such as oncology. Sanofi’s recent acquisition of Tidal Therapeutics expanded the company’s mRNA research capabilities in both immuno-oncology and inflammatory diseases. The Translate Bio acquisition further accelerates Sanofi’s efforts to develop transformative medicines using mRNA technology.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, Sanofi will commence a cash tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Translate Bio common stock for $38.00 per share in cash reflecting a total equity value of Translate Bio of approximately $3.2 billion. The purchase price represents a premium of 56% to Translate Bio’s volume-weighted average price per share over the past 60 days.
To demonstrate their commitment to the transaction, the chief executive officer of Translate Bio and Translate Bio’s largest shareholder, The Baupost Group, L.L.C., have signed binding commitments to support the tender offer. These binding commitments, combined with the Translate Bio shares already owned by Sanofi or its affiliates, represent a total of approximately 30% of Translate Bio’s total shares outstanding.
The consummation of the tender offer is subject to customary closing conditions, including the tender of a number of shares of Translate Bio common stock that together with shares already owned by Sanofi or its affiliates represents at least a majority of the outstanding shares of Translate Bio common stock, the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, and other customary conditions. Following the successful completion of the tender offer, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sanofi will merge with Translate Bio and the outstanding Translate Bio shares not already owned by Sanofi or its affiliates that are not tendered in the tender offer will be converted into the right to receive the same $38.00 per share in cash paid in the tender offer. The tender offer is expected to commence later this month. Sanofi plans to fund the transaction with available cash resources. Subject to the satisfaction or waiver of customary closing conditions, Sanofi expects to complete the acquisition in the third quarter of 2021.
Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Sanofi while Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is acting as legal counsel. Centerview Partners is acting as lead financial advisor to Translate Bio in the transaction, while Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is acting as legal counsel. Evercore is also acting as a financial advisor in this transaction to Translate Bio. MTS Health Partners, LP is also giving financial advice to Translate Bio.
About Translate Bio
Translate Bio is a clinical-stage mRNA therapeutics company developing a new class of potentially transformative medicines to treat diseases caused by protein or gene dysfunction, or to prevent infectious diseases by generating protective immunity. Translate Bio is primarily focused on applying its technology to treat pulmonary diseases with a lead pulmonary candidate being evaluated as an inhaled treatment for cystic fibrosis in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial. Additional pulmonary diseases are being evaluated in discovery-stage research programs that utilize a proprietary lung delivery platform. Translate Bio also believes it technology may apply broadly to a wide range of diseases, including diseases that affect the liver. Additionally, the platform may be applied to various classes of treatments, such as therapeutic antibodies and protein degradation. Translate Bio is also pursuing the development of mRNA vaccines for infectious diseases under a collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur.
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