Affymetrix Rejects Rival Bid, Supports Thermo Fisher Merger

Kim Le, a research associate for FivePrime Therapeutics, wor
UNITED STATES - MARCH 27: Kim Le, a research associate for FivePrime Therapeutics, works with tissue cells in a laboratory at the company's headquarters in the Mission Bay district of San Francisco, California, U.S., on Friday, March 27, 2009. FivePrime, a closely held company discovering protein-based therapies, moved to Mission Bay in 2005 from South San Francisco. The once-vacant expanse of land two miles from downtown San Francisco is turning into a biotechnology hub, adding almost 300 jobs to the city's economy last year even as 3.7 million Americans were thrown out of work. (Photo by Erin Lubin/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Photo by Bloomberg—Getty Images

U.S. gene-testing company Affymetrix’s board on Sunday rejected a $1.5 billion bid by Origin Technologies, saying it stood by a $1.3 billion merger deal with Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Origin, made up of a group of former Affymetrix executives, made the offer on Friday, looking to derail the deal with Thermo Fisher.

Thermo Fisher (TMO), the world’s largest maker of scientific instruments, agreed in January to buy Affymetrix (AFFX) for $1.3 billion in cash.

In reviewing the Origin proposal, the Affymetrix board said Origin appeared to be a newly formed shell entity with no assets of which Affymetrix was aware, and whose sole source of funding for the proposed transaction was $1.5 billion in potential debt commitments.

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“We held preliminary discussions in the fall of 2015 with individuals who became principals and potential backers of Origin, and in November 2015 I invited them to submit a written proposal if they had serious interest in a strategic transaction with Affymetrix,” Dr. Frank Witney, Affymetrix’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.

“We heard nothing further from them for over four months until they announced their unsolicited proposal on March 18,” Witney said.

Based on the analysis performed by its advisers, Affymetrix said Origin’s funds fall “materially short of the funds that would be required to complete the transaction, including a termination fee payable to Thermo Fisher.”

In a separate news release, Thermo Fisher said it continued to believe its agreement to merge with Affymetrix remained in the best interests of both Affymetrix and its stockholders.

Officials at Origin were not immediately available for comment.

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