Shares of Imago Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ: IMGO) opened more than 100% up this morning after Merck & Co Inc (NYSE: MRK) said it will acquire the biopharmaceutical firm in a $1.35 billion deal.
The all-cash agreement translates to $36 a share – just over double the price at which the stock closed on Friday.
Merck expects the transaction to help boost its haematology portfolio. In the press release, Robert M. Davis – the President and Chief Executive of Merck & Co said:
We continue to invest in our pipeline with a focus on applying our unique capabilities to unlock the value of breakthrough science. This acquisition of Imago augments our pipeline and strengthen our presence in the growing field of Haematology.
The pharmaceutical behemoth expects the deal to close in the first quarter of 2023. Merck shares are also in the green on Monday.
Imago Biosciences is a California-based company that’s committed to developing treatments for bone marrow diseases, including Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPNs). According to Dr Hugh Y. Reinhoff – its Founder and Chief Executive:
This agreement leverages Merck’s industry-leading clinical development expertise to maximise the therapeutical potential off bomedemstat while providing important value for our shareholders.
The stock market news arrives about two weeks after Imago Biosciences reported its third-quarter financial results. The Nasdaq-listed firm debuted last year at roughly $16 a share.
Centerview Partners and Latham & Watkins are acting as Imago Biosciences’ financial and legal advisors, respectively, for this deal.
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