Are Audentes Shareholders Getting Enough in the Acquisition?

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Audentes Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: BOLD) shares more than doubled on Tuesday after the firm announced that it would be acquired by Astellas. Although Audentes has only been public for just over three years, this acquisition offers a huge premium to investors.

The company came public in July 2016 with shares entering the market at $15 apiece. For investors who got in at the beginning, this is quadrupling their investment. Even investors who might have bought in at the high of $41.50 earlier this year will make just under 45% on their investment.

Under the terms of the agreement, Astellas has agreed to acquire Audentes for $60 per share, or a total transaction value of $3 billion. This is a premium of 110% to the most recent closing price of $28.61, and a premium of 112% to the 50-day moving average of $28.30.

The acquisition of Audentes represents a key step in the expansion of the Astellas Focus Area approach, under which Astellas strives to create innovative medicines for diseases with high unmet medical needs by identifying unique combinations of biology and therapeutic modality/technology based on emerging science. In addition to the four Primary Focus Areas in which Astellas currently prioritizes its investment, with the acquisition of Audentes, the company is adding a fifth Primary Focus Area in Genetic Regulation, under which gene therapy will be a key driver of the company’s future growth.

Kenji Yasukawa, president and CEO of Astellas, commented:

Recent scientific and technological advances in genetic medicine have advanced the potential to deliver unprecedented and sustained value to patients, and even to curing diseases with a single intervention. Audentes has developed a robust pipeline of promising product candidates which are complementary to our existing pipeline, including its lead program AT132 for the treatment of X-Linked Myotubular Myopathy (XLMTM). By joining together with Audentes’ talented team, we are establishing a leading position in the field of gene therapy with the goal of addressing the unmet needs of patients living with serious, rare diseases.

Shares of Audentes traded up about 105% to $58.69 on Tuesday, with a 52-week range of $17.95 to $58.99. The consensus price target is $42.00.


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