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UCB to acquire Ra Pharmaceuticals for $2.1B

Belgian drug plastics group UCB has agreed to buy United States-based clinical-stage  company Ra Pharmaceuticals for $2.1 billion, the companies said.

The deal will allow UCB to offer new immunology and neurology treatments for several rare diseases.

UCB CEO Jean-Christophe Tellier highlighted that Ra Pharma is an excellent strategic fit in multiple areas of UCB’s patient value growth strategy. Tellier added that in the next five year, the deal will generate six new product launches. The addition of Ra Pharma would strengthen UCB’s projects portfolio.

“UCB shares our commitment to the rare disease patient community and our goal of developing [therapies] in the immunology and neurology areas,” said Ra CEO Doug Treco.

As a result, Ra will contribute to UCB’s earnings per share and increase revenue and net profit from 2024. The company moved the mid-term target of reaching REBITDA ratio to revenue of 31% from 2021 to 2020, it said. Consequently, Ra said that its investors will receive $48 per share in cash for each share they own. More importantly, the price represents a premium of 93% based on average closing stock price.

Furthermore, BNP Paribas Fortis and Bank of America Merrill Lynch will provide new bank loans to help finance the deal. Meanwhile, UCB expects to close the deal in the first quarter of 2020.

The boards of both companies approved the deal although it  remains subject to shareholder approval.


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