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Corporate team advises on major cross-border life sciences transaction

Posted: 27/10/2021

The Penningtons Manches Cooper corporate team has advised the shareholders of ATDBio on its sale to NASDAQ Stockholm listed Biotage AB. The purchase price was approximately £45m on a debt free and cash free basis.

ATDBio was founded in 2005 by Professor Tom Brown (Snr), one of the world's leading nucleic acids chemists, Dr Dorcas Brown, an expert in oligonucleotide synthesis, Dr Tom Brown (Jnr) and Dr Asha Brown. The company has laboratories in Oxford and Southampton and works with its customers to develop simple, rapid and accurate human diagnostic methods. In 2020 it expanded to meet the demands of the pandemic response – increasing its synthesis capacity by more than ten times to make oligonucleotides for millions of COVID-19 tests.

The acquisition, which provides Biotage with expertise in highly complex DNA and RNA production, will allow accelerated expansion of the UK company’s activities. ATDBio’s founders are joining the Biotage Group as part of the acquisition, continuing to work with existing and new customers on molecular diagnostics, nucleic acid-based therapeutics and vaccines plus new generation DNA and RNA sequencing technologies.

The deal was led by Oxford corporate partner Will Axtell with support predominantly from Giordano Suergiu (corporate), Kathy Hills (tax), Leonie Langley (tax), Luke Shaw (employment), Chris Shelley (IP), Clare Coley (pensions) and Giorgia Clements (property). Biotage AB were advised by Herbert Smith Freehills.

Dr Tom Brown Jr, Director of ATDBio said of the transaction, “ATDBio is very proud to be joining the Biotage Group. With its global presence and world-leading separation science expertise, and our leadership in complex oligonucleotide synthesis, our businesses are highly complementary. With this exciting merger we look forward to scaling up our activities with existing and new customers.  

Will and the rest of the Penningtons team were a reassuring presence guiding us through the process and we particularly valued their combined M&A expertise and life sciences sector knowledge.”

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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 419867.

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