Roche signs definitive merger agreement with GenMark Diagnostics, to access novel technology to test for broad range of pathogens with one patient sample

  • Roche to acquire GenMark Diagnostics for US$ 24.05 per share with the expectation to close in the 2nd quarter of 2021
  • GenMark provides molecular diagnostic tests that are designed to detect multiple pathogens from a single patient sample
  • GenMark’s ePlex platform delivers rapid and actionable results so clinicians can determine the cause of infection and the most effective treatment, potentially saving lives and alleviating the healthcare burden. The addition of GenMark’s proprietary multiplex technology complements Roche’s diagnostic offering, addressing a broad range of infectious disease testing needs, including respiratory and bloodstream infections

Roche and GenMark Diagnostics announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement for Roche to fully acquire GenMark at a price of US$ 24.05 per share in an all-cash transaction. This corresponds to a total transaction value of approximately US$ 1.8 billion on a fully diluted basis. This price represents a premium of approximately 43% to GenMark’s unaffected closing share price, the last trading day before a media report was published speculating about a potential sale process. The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of GenMark and Roche. Once the acquisition is completed, GenMark’s principal operations will continue at its current location in Carlsbad, California, USA.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Roche will promptly commence a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of GenMark’s common stock, and GenMark will file a recommendation statement containing the unanimous recommendation of the GenMark board that GenMark stockholders tender their shares to Roche.

GenMark’s syndromic panel testing portfolio will complement Roche’s current molecular diagnostics portfolio and the Roche global network will enable expanded reach for GenMark’s products. GenMark’s ePlex system drives lab efficiency through streamlined order-to-reporting workflow and enables better patient outcomes by rapidly diagnosing a patient’s symptoms. Infectious diseases are a cause of death globally, and earlier detection of the cause of an infection has been shown to improve patient outcomes and improve key hospital initiatives such as antibiotic stewardship and length of stay.

Acquiring GenMark Diagnostics will broaden our molecular diagnostics portfolio to include solutions that can provide lifesaving information quickly to patients and their healthcare providers in the fight against infectious diseases,” said Thomas Schinecker, CEO Roche Diagnostics. “Their proven expertise in syndromic panel testing provides faster targeted therapeutic intervention, resulting in improved patient outcomes and reduced hospital stays, and will contribute to Roche’s commitment to helping control infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance. The rapid identification of bloodstream infections and the detection of antimicrobial resistance genes are more essential than ever for hospitals and their patients.”

As a part of Roche, we can accelerate our mission to enable rapid diagnosis of infectious disease to improve patient outcomes. Together with Roche’s diagnostics healthcare solutions, we will be able to provide a full suite of molecular diagnostic solutions to customers around the world,” said Scott Mendel, CEO of GenMark Diagnostics.  “We are thrilled to become a part of Roche and are confident that this is the right path forward for GenMark and our customers.”

GenMark’s Respiratory Pathogen Panels identify the most common viral and bacterial organisms associated with upper respiratory infection, including SARS-CoV-2, complementing Roche’s extensive portfolio of COVID-19 diagnostics solutions.

Terms of the Agreement Under the terms of the merger agreement, Roche will promptly commence a tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of GenMark’s common stock for US$ 24.05 per share in cash. Following the completion of the tender offer, Roche will acquire all remaining shares at the same price of US$ 24.05 per share in cash through a second step merger.

The transaction is expected to close in the 2nd quarter of 2021 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including the tender of at least a majority of the outstanding shares of GenMark’s common stock and the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

Citi is acting as financial advisor to Roche and Sidley Austin is acting as legal counsel to Roche. J.P. Morgan Securities is acting as exclusive financial advisor to GenMark and DLA Piper is acting as legal counsel to GenMark.