Pharmaceutical

Akebia Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AKBA) and Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:KERX) today announced that the companies signed, and the boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved, a definitive merger agreement under which the companies will combine in an all-stock merger. The transaction will create a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company focused on chronic kidney disease (CKD), with an …

Akebia Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AKBA) and Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:KERX) today announced that the companies signed, and the boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved, a definitive merger agreement under which the companies will combine in an all-stock merger. The transaction will create a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company focused on chronic kidney disease (CKD), with an implied pro forma equity value of approximately $1.3 billion, assuming full conversion of Keryx’s outstanding convertible notes, based on the closing prices of Keryx and Akebia on June 27, 2018. The combined company will be named Akebia Therapeutics, Inc.

As quoted in the press release:

Under the terms of the agreement, Keryx shareholders will receive 0.37433 common shares of Akebia for each share of Keryx they own. The exchange results in implied equity ownership in the combined company of 49.4 percent for Akebia shareholders and 50.6 percent for Keryx shareholders on a fully-diluted basis. John P. Butler, President and Chief Executive Officer of Akebia, is expected to lead the combined company, and Keryx will appoint the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the combined company. Additionally, Jason A. Amello, Akebia’s Chief Financial Officer, is expected to serve in the same capacity on the management team of the combined company.

The Baupost Group, L.L.C., which owns approximately 21.4 percent of the outstanding Keryx common stock prior to any conversion of its convertible notes, has agreed to convert its outstanding convertible notes of Keryx into shares of Keryx common stock prior to closing and has entered into a voting agreement in support of the transaction. Muneer A. Satter, Chairperson of the Akebia Board of Directors and a shareholder who owns approximately 5.3 percent of outstanding Akebia common stock, has also agreed to support the transaction by entering into a voting agreement.

Click here to read the full press release.

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