Cambridge-based biotech Abcam sold to US firm for £4.5bn

Abcam Image credit: Kitreel / Shutterstock

Cambridge-based biotech company Abcam has been acquired by US medical and diagnostic tool developer Danaher for £4.5bn.

Abcam, which manufactures consumable proteins, is expected to continue to operate as a standalone entity once the acquisition is completed.

Under the terms of the deal, Danaher has agreed to buy the firm at $24 a share, which the firm said was 40% higher than the value of the stock at the point of agreement.

According to Abcam, the board of directors “unanimously approved” the deal, which remains subject to shareholder approval.

Chair of the board at Abcam, Peter Allen, said: “Following a rigorous process, I’m confident this combination with Danaher maximises value for shareholders while delivering an excellent outcome for our employees and customers.”

Born out of research from the University of Cambridge in 1998, Abcam listed publicly in London on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in 2005. The firm jointly listed on the Nasdaq market in 2008.

Last year, the company announced it would delist from London at the end of 2022, leaving the firm solely listed in New York.

Chief executive Alan Hirzel said at the time that the decision would “make it possible for Abcam to attract more investors to our global business”.

Hirzel added that the delisting would create “a path to creating value by increasing stock trading liquidity for our current and potential shareholders”.

UK financial regulators have faced significant pressure to address the trend of valuable UK firms abandoning the London markets due to a perceived greater value in New York.

This month, the CEO of stock trading app Plus500 said the company was considering a US listing due to what he saw as a better attitude from US investors compared with London.