Thermo Fisher raises Qiagen bid by $1 bln

Credit: REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Thermo Fisher raises bid to 43 euros per Qiagen share

Revised offer values Qiagen at $12.9 bln

Qiagen recommends new offer to shareholders

Shareholders have until Aug 10 to tender shares

Adds detail

BERLIN, July 16 (Reuters) - Thermo Fisher Scientific TMO.N raised its bid for Qiagen QIA.DE by 900 million euros ($1 billion) on Thursday in an effort to rescue a deal that some of the German genetic test maker's shareholders said undervalued the company's prospects.

The U.S. laboratory equipment supplier said it had lifted its bid to 43 euros per share from 39 euros, representing a 35% premium to Qiagen's closing price when it made the initial offer on March 2.

The revised offer values Qiagen at 11.3 billion euros.

Thermo Fisher also reduced the minimum acceptance threshold to 66.67% of outstanding ordinary share capital, down from 75%.

The deal aimed at bolstering the U.S. company's health diagnostic business has faced opposition in recent weeks from Qiagen shareholders, including Hedge Fund Davidson Kempner, which called the offer "wholly inadequate" and said it would not tender its shares at the initial offer price.

"Industry dynamics have changed considerably in the past few months, creating tailwinds and headwinds for our businesses," Thermo Fisher Chief Executive Marc N. Casper said in a statement.

"After careful consideration, we've decided to increase our offer for Qiagen to reflect the fair value of the business given the current environment."

Qiagen has experienced high demand for products related to coronavirus testing and began shipping a rapid diagnostic test for COVID-19 to the United States at the end of March.

Last week it beat expectations with a preliminary 18-19% rise in second-quarter sales and a 68% rise in earnings per share amid strong demand for products used in coronavirus testing.

Qiagen said its supervisory and management boards backed the revised offer unanimously. As a result of the increase, the companies have extended the acceptance period by two weeks until Aug. 10.

($1 = 0.8768 euros)

(Reporting by Caroline Copley Editing by David Goodman )

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