Thermo Fisher May Need to Boost Qiagen Bid Again, Investor Says

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Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. may need to once again sweeten its bid for Qiagen NV since the Dutch biotech’s outlook has improved so much during the pandemic, a second major investor said.

Thermo Fisher’s decision on Thursday to offer 43 euros ($49) per share -- up from its initial bid of 39 euros -- demonstrates how much Qiagen’s business has grown in the coronavirus crisis and raises questions about whether Qiagen’s management team negotiated hard enough, Markus Manns, a portfolio manager for Union Investment, said in an emailed statement.

Union hasn’t decided if it will push for a higher offer, Manns said. Union has a 1% stake in Qiagen and 0.4% in Thermo Fisher, a spokesman said by email.

Union’s comments follow calls from Davidson Kempner, a top investor in Qiagen, for a higher takeover price. Davidson Kempner has said that a price between 48 euros and 52 euros a share is more appropriate and that it wants other shareholders to reject Thermo Fisher’s latest offer.

Qiagen said on Monday that its annual sales may rise as much as 18% after the Venlo, Netherlands-based company ramped up production to supply tests and chemicals for the coronavirus. That has put pressure on Thermo Fisher to improve on the 9 billion-euro takeover deal agreed to in March.

“Unfortunately, European biotech companies again and again are falling victim to their own success and being taken over,” Manns said. “From Thermo Fisher’s perspective, it’s a very sensible addition.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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