Origin Technologies Drops Affymetrix Offer After Being Rejected

  • Affymetrix recommended a takeover offer by Thermo Fisher
  • `It's an unfortunate outcome,' Origin president says

Origin Technologies Corp. withdrew its offer for DNA_testing company Affymetrix Inc., which on Monday recommended a lower bid from Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. because of concerns over approval from Chinese and U.S. regulators.

Origin, a newly created entity owned by a group of former Affymetrix executives for the purpose of taking it private, pulled its $17-a-share all cash offer, according to a statement.

“We disagree with Affymetrix’ assessment of the perceived risks of our proposal,” Origin President Wei Zhou said in the statement. “It is an unfortunate outcome.”

Origin, whose backer is a Chinese investment firm, needs approval by regulators in China to get third-party financing, Affymetrix said. U.S. regulators would also have reviewed the proposal, at a time when officials are scrutinizing more Chinese deals than ever. Among the latest examples, Western Digital Corp.’s plan to sell a stake of itself to Chinese investors fell apart in February after coming under a U.S. national security review.

The Affymetrix board said that losing Thermo Fisher’s deal was also a risk it considered in recommending the lower offer. If that merger were to breakdown, Affymetrix would lose the premium that the original deal implied and would be in a weaker negotiating position with Origin. Thermo Fisher’s $14 a share offer in January was 52 percent above Affymetrix’s share price at the time.

Affymetrix shares fell 0.8 percent to $14.10 in late trading Monday, after closing down 5.6 percent to $14.10.

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