Penningtons Manches Cooper advise on major cross-border life sciences transaction

Photo shows Will Axtell of Penningtons Manches Cooper
Penningtons Manches Cooper Will Axtell

Law firm Penningtons Manches Cooper has advised shareholders of ATDBio on its sale to NASDAQ Stockholm listed Biotage AB. The purchase price was approximately £45 million on a debt free and cash free basis.

ATDBio was founded in 2005 by Professor Tom Brown, a world leading nucleic acid chemist, Dr Dorcas Brown, an expert in oligonucleotide synthesis, Dr Tom Brown (Jnr) and Dr Asha Brown.

The company, which has laboratories in Oxford and Southampton, develops simple, rapid and accurate human diagnostic methods. In 2020 it expanded to meet the demands of the pandemic response – increasing its synthesis capacity by more than ten times to make oligonucleotides (short DNA or RNA molecules, oligomers, that have a wide range of applications in genetic testing), for millions of COVID-19 tests.

The acquisition, which provides Biotage with expertise in highly complex DNA and RNA production, will allow accelerated expansion of the UK company’s activities.

ATDBio’s founders will join Biotage Group as part of the acquisition, continuing to work with existing and new customers on molecular diagnostics, nucleic acid-based therapeutics and vaccines plus new generation DNA and RNA sequencing technologies.

The deal was led by Oxford corporate partner Will Axtell with support from Giordano Suergiu (corporate), Kathy Hills (tax), Leonie Langley (tax), Luke Shaw (employment), Chris Shelley (IP), Clare Coley (pensions) and Giorgia Clements (property). Biotage AB were advised by Herbert Smith Freehills.

Dr Tom Brown Jr, Director of ATDBio said: “ATDBio is very proud to be joining the Biotage Group. With its global presence and world-leading separation science expertise, and our leadership in complex oligonucleotide synthesis, our businesses are highly complementary. With this exciting merger we look forward to scaling up our activities with existing and new customers.”