Shares of Aimmune Therapeutics Inc (AIMT) get a jump-start of $21.59 on Monday. The stock started trading at nearly 171% higher than it closing price on Friday. All it is because of news of its acquisition by Nestle.
Monday morning, Swiss company announced that it came to a $2.6 billion agreement with Aimmune to buy it. The healthcare company is the maker of Palforzia which is only FDA approved drug for treatment of peanut allergies.
The Swiss company, popular for its chocolate and instant coffee, has established its Health Science division in 2011. The recent deal will help it excel into a new area of business. Nestle is already an owner of nearly 25.6% stakes in Aimmune. The Swiss giant made its first investment in Brisbane, California-based company in 2016.
Nestle offered Aimmune to buy it for $2.6 billion or $35.50. Per share offered price is 174% more than the closing price of the drugmaker on Friday. AIMT closed the Friday trading at $12.60.
Aimmune got peanut allergy treatment drug Palforzia approved by FDA in early February. The drug has been used to treat patients aged 4 to 17 who have allergic reaction to peanuts including anaphylaxis. Palforzia is the first most and only approved drug for treatment of this disease which could endanger the patient’s life.
About 240 million people around the world are suffering from any sort of allergy, said the Nestle in its announcement. And peanut allergy is the most common in those patients, it added.
Aimmune’s stock get hard hit from the COVID-19, commented Kennen MacKay, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets. Most of the allergy clinics remained closed during the pandemic. Parents also opted not to leave their homes to remain safe.
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He was referring to the company’s extreme high and low prices before and during pandemic. The stock hit 29 month high of $37 in late January. But that later dropped to $10.09 in mid-march during when whole market got a dent amid pandemic.
The deal came on the heels of impact by COVID, MacKay guessed. He was not seeing the transaction to execute this earlier. COVID left many of the companies with cash shortages to continue their businesses. In such scenario, Aimmune made a right decision of dealing with a bigger player, he added.