HBK Capital Management has become Abcam Plc’s biggest shareholder and said it plans to vote in favor of the planned $5.7 billion sale of the life sciences firm to Danaher Corp.
(Bloomberg) — HBK Capital Management has become Abcam Plc’s biggest shareholder and said it plans to vote in favor of the planned $5.7 billion sale of the life sciences firm to Danaher Corp.
The US hedge fund has amassed a 7.5% stake in Abcam, according to a regulatory filing Monday, which confirmed an earlier Bloomberg News report. That surpasses the roughly 6.2% holding owned by company founder Jonathan Milner, who’s been trying to persuade investors to reject the Danaher bid.
HBK said it believes the sale to Danaher was the result of a “rigorous process” by Abcam’s board, and a failure of the deal “would create significant risks for the business going forward.”
Milner has said he thinks Danaher’s bid of $24 per share in cash grossly undervalues Abcam, which sells antibodies used by researchers. Abcam’s American depositary shares gained 0.7% at 10:42 a.m. in New York trading Monday.
Abcam needs support from 75% of shareholders for the transaction to proceed.
Abcam is “pleased” with HBK’s support of the deal, a representative for Abcam said in a statement.
“The company has been engaging with shareholders since the scheme circular was filed, affirming the transaction is the result of a rigorous and competitive strategic review process that maximizes shareholder value,” Abcam said. “The transaction has been unanimously approved and recommended by the Abcam board of directors and we remain confident in shareholder support for the transaction.”
–With assistance from Dinesh Nair.
(Updates with Abcam statement in last two paragraphs.)
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