Wed, 21 Sep 2022 | BUSINESS SALE
Welsh life sciences firm Diurnal is set to be acquired by US neuroscience-focused biopharmaceutical company Neurocrine in a cash deal valued at £48.3 million. The deal is subject to shareholder approval, which is expected to be confirmed next month after the acquisition was recommended by Diurnal’s board.
Diurnal is headquartered in Cardiff and is a pharmaceutical firm working to address patient needs in chronic endocrine (hormonal) diseases. The company is listed on Cardiff’s Alternative Investment Market and includes among its minority shareholders the Welsh Government-owned Development Bank of Wales, which invested in the firm prior to its flotation.
In the six months ending December 31 2021, Diurnal reported £2.13 million in unaudited net product sales and a £7.95 million net loss. The £48.3 million price reflects a valuation of 27.5 pence per share.
Diurnal non-executive chairman Anders Härfstrand commented: “The board of Diurnal is delighted to announce this recommended offer. Diurnal and Neurocrine are highly complementary businesses, and we believe that Neurocrine’s financial and operational resources will substantially accelerate the development of a leading franchise in diseases of cortisol deficiency, benefiting physicians and patients globally.”
“We believe that the acquisition is compelling for Diurnal’s shareholders, given the risks associated with achieving Diurnal’s vision of creating a profitable business, in particular the ongoing commercial rollout of products in Europe and the execution of key clinical studies, in addition to the substantial shareholder dilution that is likely to result from accessing the capital required to deliver this vision.”
The acquisition comes at a time when UK businesses are proving particularly attractive to foreign buyers. A recent ranking named the UK as Europe’s most attractive destination for inbound M&A investment, driven by factors including the UK’s strong recovery from COVID-19 in comparison to EU counterparts and its market-leading position in many key industries.
Furthermore, with the pound recently falling to a 37-year low and the US dollar performing relatively strongly, it seems likely that the UK could be poised to see even more inbound investment from across the Atlantic, as US buyers move to pick up UK firms at low valuations.
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