US-Based Company to Acquire Sirtex

Australian cancer company Sirtex has been acquired by US-based Varian for $1.6 billion.

The $28 per share price, representing a 49 per cent premium, makes Sirtex one of the highest value deals ever for an Australian-based biopharmaceutical company.

The company was trading at over $40 in late 2015.

Sirtex is best known for its SIR-Spheres microspheres technology for the treatment of advanced liver cancer

Cancer company Varian is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, and employs approximately 6,500 people. It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and has a market capitalisation of approximately US$11.8 billon.

In a statement, Sirtex said its decision to accept the acquisition deed “follows receipt of multiple unsolicited, non-binding proposals to acquire the Company” in late 2017.

“The Board of Sirtex elected to engage with these parties to explore the potential for an offer that could be in the best interests of Sirtex shareholders. In conjunction with this decision, Sirtex’s advisers also contacted a number of additional parties to test potential interest in submitting alternative proposals to acquire the Company,” it said.

The interim chairman of Sirtex, Dr John Eady, said, “In recommending the Scheme, we have considered the future potential prospects and the risks associated with an investment in Sirtex. Whilst we remain confident that the Company would continue to have a successful stand-alone future, we believe that the material premium provided by Varian and the certainty of all cash consideration is an attractive outcome for shareholders.”

Dow Wilson, CEO of Varian, said, “Sirtex is a highly complementary strategic fit with our existing solutions for the treatment of cancer. We are excited by the opportunity to expand Sirtex’s business and continue to provide physicians and patients around the world with smart, efficient, and high-quality care.”

The deal will require shareholder approval.