Perhaps it was a case of spring fever when Alere Inc. (NYSE:ALR) went a-courting for Scottish competitor Axis-Shield in early June.
Unfortunately for the Waltham, Mass.-based diagnostics firm, Axis-Shield said “No thanks” to a $369 million unsolicited bid, according to a prepared release.
Alere officials said today that the company offered a non-binding proposal to acquire all issued and to be issued shares of Axis-Shied, which makes in vitro and point-of-care diagnostics for cardiovascular, autoimmune and infectious diseases.
The offer of 460p per ordinary share was a 37 percent premium on yesterday’s closing price for Axis Shield stock on the London Stock Exchange and 45 percent higher than the company’s average share price for the six months ended July 5.
Axis Shield rejected the offer outright and “declined to enter in any further discussions,” according to the release.
“Alere is keen to work towards a recommended takeover offer for Axis-Shield and would welcome the opportunity to discuss a possible transaction with Axis-Shield in a constructive manner,” the Alere officials said. “Alere is therefore announcing its proposal as a means to facilitate discussions with Axis-Shield and its shareholders. Alere believes the proposal, which would be an all-cash offer, represents a compelling value proposition for Axis-Shield shareholders, offering a high degree of certainty and a substantial premium to the current market price.”
Alere would fund the offer with internal resources and the proceeds of a recent injection of $2.1 billion in senior credit facilities.
Alere, formerly known as Inverness Medical Innovations, changed its name last July. The company has been an aggressive acquirer in the diagnostics space, placing an emphasis on buying companies that make “complementary products, services or technologies to ours,” according to its recent annual report.
Unfortunately, those acquisitions have come at a significant price to Alere’s bottom line. The firm reported more than $1.06 billion in net losses in 2010, the majority stemming from impairment charges resulting from acquisitions.