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Why Advanced Accelerator Applications SA Acquired a Higher Price Today

Brian Orelli, The Motley Fool

What happened

Advanced Accelerator Applications (NASDAQ: AAAP) is up 10.5% at 11:42 a.m. EDT after announcing that it was being acquired by Novartis (NYSE: NVS) for approximately $3.9 billion.

So what

Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA) has a somewhat non-traditional share structure in that its American Depositary Shares (ADS) that trade on the NASDAQ represent two of its ordinary shares, so the takeout price is $82 per ADS, which most U.S. investors would own, which is equivalent to $41 per ordinary share.

Looking at the ADSs, $82 is only a 12% premium on Friday's closing price, but rumors of the deal have been in the wind for a month. Based on the 30 volume-weighted trading days before Bloomberg broke the news, the companies were considering tying the knot, the takeout price is a solid 47% premium.

Men shaking hands in a conference room

Image source: Getty Images.

AAA is currently trading below the acquisition price, implying that investors don't think it's likely another bidder will come along and make a higher offer, which seems reasonable considering it's been publicly known that AAA was on the auction block for a month.

Buying at a discount today might seem like free money, but keep in mind, there's an opportunity cost holding the shares between now and when the deal actually closes, plus buyers are taking on the risk that the deal falls through for some reason.

Now what

In the deal, Novartis gets AAA's Lutathera, which treats gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. The drug was approved for sale in the EU last month, and the FDA is expected to make a decision about the U.S. marketing application on or before Jan. 28, 2018. AAA also has a pipeline of drugs built on the same platform called RadioLigand Therapy, which attaches peptides that binds to tumors to radioactive compounds that damage tumor cells.

Considering Novartis' strong focus in cancer, acquiring AAA looks like a good addition, although arguably some of the pipeline drugs will have to come to fruition to justify the price tag.

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Brian Orelli has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.