Nightstar Therapeutics PLC (NASDAQ: NITE) shares exploded early on Monday after it was announced that the firm would be acquired by Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB). The transaction is expected to close by mid-year 2019.
Under the terms of the deal, Nightstar shareholders will receive $25.50 in cash for each Nightstar share, representing a 70% premium to the 30-day volume-weighted average price of $15.02.
The entire transaction is valued up to $877 million, which is a drop in the bucket for Biogen. This massive biotech boasts a market cap of roughly $66 billion.
Note that this acquisition is still pending approval from Nightstar shareholders and from regulators. It’s hard to believe that shareholders would vote against this deal, considering the massive premium being offered.
Nightstar is a leading clinical-stage gene therapy company focused on developing and commercializing novel one-time treatments for patients suffering from rare inherited retinal diseases that would otherwise progress to blindness. Its lead product candidate is currently in Phase 3 development for the treatment of patients with choroideremia.
David Fellows, CEO of Nightstar, commented:
Our agreement with Biogen will give us the platform and resources to expand our mission to maintain and restore sight in patients with inherited retinal diseases. This transaction accelerates treatment to patients through Nightstar’s key retinal gene therapy programs that modify or halt progression of blindness. Together, with Biogen’s expertise in rare diseases, worldwide reach and extensive resources, we will dramatically improve the lives of patients around the world who currently have no treatment options. We are proud of what Nightstar has accomplished, and we thank our team for their tireless work to improve the lives of our patients and their families.
Shares of Nightstar closed Friday at $15.16, in a 52-week range of $9.59 to $29.55. The consensus analyst price target is $32.90. Following the announcement, the stock was up about 67% at $25.30 in early trading indications Monday.
Biogen closed Friday at $334.10 a share. The 52-week trading range is $249.14 to $388.67, and the consensus price target is $378.11.