Biotech Company Cellestis to be Bought Out by Dutch-Owned Qiagen
Written BY: M.mcnamara
Don’t expect Cellestis shareholders to be wearing wooden shoes anytime soon, but there is a good chance that the Australian diagnostics company will be bought by Dutch-owned technology company, Qiagen NV.
Qiagen has lodged a A$341 million takeover bid for Cellestis for $3.55 per share, which could include a fully franked, special dividend. Cellestis announced Monday that its Directors unanimously recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the scheme.
Cellestis Chairman Ron Pitcher said, “The offer price recognises the significant value within Cellestis’ QuantiFERON technology, which the management team and staff at Cellestis have developed into a global leading technology in the diagnosis of latent tuberculosis.”
“Cellestis’ QuantiFERON technology will greatly complement Qiagen’s leading molecular diagnostic product portfolio, and the transaction will allow Qiagen to leverage its global research and development and sales and marketing infrastructure to further enhance the development and growth of the QuantiFERON technology,” Ron Pitcher added.
Cellestis’ two major shareholders, Managing Director Dr. Anthony Radford and Chief Scientific Officer Dr. James Rothel, have entered into separate option agreements, under which Qiagen, subject to Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval, can acquire up to 19.9 per cent of Cellestis.
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According to The Australian, “The Cellestis offer is the biggest since Leo Pharmaceuticals offered $US287m (then $338m) for Arana Therapeutics. Given Arana was carrying $150m in cash, we'll declare Cellestis the biggest "real" biotech deal.”
Upon completion of the proposed Scheme, Qiagen has indicated its intention that the existing management team, led by Dr. Anthony Radford and Dr. James Rothel, will remain in place to continue to drive the performance and growth of the business.
Cellestis shares rose more than 15 per cent to $3.47 on the ASX Monday following the announcement.
Amobee Appoints Nick Brien As CEO
In its latest strategic move, Amobee—a global multimedia advertising leader—announced that Nick Brien will be its Chief Executive Officer. The company is entirely owned by Singtel, Asia’s leading communications technology organisation, which provides consumers with mobile, broadband, and TV and businesses with data hosting, cloud, network infrastructure, analytics, and cybersecurity tools.
Brien, who has worked for Microsoft, Intel, P&G, and American Express, will take over to drive the next generation of advertising tech. Said Evangelos Simoudis, Chairman of the Board of Amobee: ‘Nick has the deep expertise in advertising that we need to seize the market opportunities ahead’.
How Did Brien Get Here?
Before joining Amobee, Brien led 15,000 people across 40 divisions as CEO of the Americas for Dentsu International. For thirty years, he’s helped brands pilot unique advertisements, keeping up with the latest trends. He’s served as CEO of McCann Worldgroup, global CEO of IPG Mediabrands, President of Hearst Marketing Services, and CEO of iCrossing. Over the course of his career, he’s consistently strategised how to keep up with digital shifts. Now, he’ll capitalise on Amobee’s legions of experienced data scientists and developers.
‘I’m excited to be joining Amobee at such a transformative time in our industry’, Brien explained. ‘We’ll pilot advertising accountability and intelligent decisioning. And there’s no doubt in my mind that optimising media performance—whether you’re targeting, planning, buying, or delivering—can only be achieved using applied science, machine learning, and data analytics’.
What Does This Mean for Amobee?
Amobee is set on growing its personal brand within the advertising sector. As APAC social media influencers, Gen Z growth hackers, and viral content producers start to enter the field, established companies will be working doubly hard to keep up. Amobee, however, is still looking good. With a Gartner Magic Quadrant for Ad Tech, a Forrester New Wave recognition, and now, Nick Brien as CEO, the firm is set up for success.