Following years of increasing its financial position in California-based Aimmune, Sociétés des Produits Nestlé, S.A., a part of Nestlé Health Science, acquired the outstanding shares of the food allergy-focused company for $2.6 billion in cash.
Investors have been ecstatic over the news. Following the announcement, share prices for Aimmune skyrocketed more than 170% in premarket trading to $24.08 per share. Nestlé agreed to pay $34.50 per share for Aimmune, which won regulatory approval in February for Palforzia, a first-of-its-kind treatment for patients with peanut allergies. Palforzia [Peanut (Arachis hypogaea) Allergen Powder-dnfp] is an oral treatment indicated to mitigate allergic reactions to peanuts.
Nestlé Health Science, a division of the food packaging giant Nestlé, first pumped $145 million into the company in 2016 and then another $30 million as part of its initial public offering in 2018. Also in 2018, Nestlé invested an additional $98 million into Aimmune. Following the approval of Palforzia, Nestlé pumped another $200 million into Aimmune, which increased its stake in the company to $473 million, which represented about 25.6% of the company.
Nestlé Health Science has a history of advancing nutritional therapies. Many of the food products developed by Nestlé contain allergens, including peanuts, so it has made sense the company would support those companies aiming to curb allergic reactions to food products.
Jayson Dallas, president and chief executive officer of Brisbane, Calif.-based Aimmune, said the agreement with Nestlé recognizes the value of Aimmune’s longtime commitment to advancing therapies for food allergies.
“Delivering Palforzia, the world’s first treatment for food allergy, is a game-changing proposition in the biopharmaceutical industry and is transformative for the lives of millions of people living with potentially life-threatening peanut allergy,” Dallas said in a statement. “This acquisition ensures a level of support for Palforzia and our pipeline that will further enhance their potential for patients around the world living with food allergies.”
Nestlé Health Science CEO Greg Behar said the acquisition of Aimmune combines Nestlé’s nutritional science leadership with one of the most innovative companies in food allergy treatment
“Together, we will be able to create a world leader in food allergy prevention and treatment and offer a wide range of solutions that can transform the lives of people around the world living with food allergies,” Behar said in a statement.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, Sociétés des Produits Nestlé S.A. (SPN), will initiate a cash tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Aimmune common stock for $34.50 per share in cash. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020, pending the satisfaction of all conditions to the completion of the tender offer. Until that time, Aimmune will continue to operate as a separate and independent company.