Qiagen surges on bid talks

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Shares in the struggling German molecular diagnostics company Qiagen have risen by around 30% in a few days as the company is holding sale talks following “several, non-binding, expressions of interest.” This takes the shares, which had suffered after a profit warning and the resignation of the chief executive, back to the peak they reached in April. At the current level, the shares are capitalised at a little over €9m and analysts suggest that Qiagen could be valued at up to €11bn in the event of a deal.

The company says that it is exploring strategic alternatives, including holding talks with the interested parties, with the aim of creating “greater value creation opportunities than the already strong stand-alone growth prospects for the company.” Analysts say that annual cost savings of as much as €250m (US$225m) could be achieved if Qiagen merges with a larger rival.

The statement makes no mention of the suitors with which it is holding talks and a spokesman for the company declines to elaborate on the press release. However, speculation is that the US biotechnology leader Thermo Scientific is at the forefront of those with whom Qiagen’s management is talking talks. Investors also point to Agilent, Danaher, and Siemens Healthineers as other possible suitors.

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