BioCryst Pharmaceuticals’s Merger with Idera Pharmaceuticals


J.P. Morgan Securities LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to BioCryst and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP acted as BioCryst’s legal counsel in connection with the transaction. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to Idera and Latham & Watkins, LLP acted as Idera’s legal counsel in connection with the transaction.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX), and Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:IDRA) have signed a definitive merger agreement to form a new enterprise focused on the development and commercialization of medicines to serve more patients suffering from rare diseases. The combined company will be renamed upon closing and will be led by Vincent Milano, CEO of Idera, who will also serve as a member of the Board. BioCryst Chairman, Robert Ingram, will be Chairman of the Board of the combined company and BioCryst CEO Jon P. Stonehouse will serve as a member of the Board of Directors.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, each share of BioCryst common stock will be exchanged for 0.50 shares of the new company stock and each share of Idera common stock will be exchanged for 0.20 shares of the new company stock. The exchange ratio reflects an “at market” combination based upon the approximate 30-day average volume weighted trading prices for each company. On a proforma, fully diluted basis, giving effect to all dilutive stock options, units and warrants, BioCryst stockholders will own 51.6 percent of the stock of the combined company and Idera stockholders will own 48.4 percent. The stock issuance in the merger is expected to be tax-free to stockholders.

The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies. The transaction is subject to approval by the stockholders of both companies, as well as regulatory approvals and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions. A significant stockholder of each company has agreed to enter into a voting and support agreement and has agreed to vote in favor of the transaction. This stockholder owns approximately 9% of Idera shares outstanding and approximately 14% of BioCryst shares outstanding. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2018.

The combined company, which will be renamed post-closing, will be headquartered in Exton, PA, at the current Idera headquarters, with a consolidated research center in Birmingham, AL. In addition to Mr. Milano’s role as CEO of the combined company, Dan Soland will join the combined company and will serve in the role of Chief Operating Officer.

The Skadden team includes: M&A partners Ann Beth Stebbins (Picture) and Stephen Arcano; Tax partner Brian Krause; and Executive Compensation and Benefits partner Erica Schohn.

Involved fees earner: Ann Beth Stebbins – Skadden Arps Slate Meager & Flom; Stephen Arcano – Skadden Arps Slate Meager & Flom; Brian Krause – Skadden Arps Slate Meager & Flom; Erica Schohn – Skadden Arps Slate Meager & Flom;

Law Firms: Skadden Arps Slate Meager & Flom;

Clients: BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc.;

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Author: Ambrogio Visconti