June 29, 2015 / 12:05 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 2-Amag Pharma to buy world's largest stem cell bank for $700 mln

* To buy Cord Blood Registry from PE firm GTCR

* Deal to boost maternal health business

* Expects deal to add to profit immediately

* Amag still on the hunt for more deals

* Shares marginally higher in morning trading (Adds conference call details, updates shares)

June 29 (Reuters) - Amag Pharmaceuticals Inc said it would buy the largest newborn stem cell bank in the world for $700 million to strengthen is maternal health business and that it was on the hunt for more deals.

Still, news of Amag’s biggest deal ever and Chief Executive William Heiden’s assertion to hunt for growth through acquisitions failed to move shareholders. The stock was flat in morning trading.

Cord Blood Registry (CBR), owned by private equity firm GTCR, has more than half a million preserved umbilical cord blood and tissue stem cell units, Amag said in a statement on Monday.

Stem cells, the basic building blocks of the body, are used to develop treatments for life-threatening genetic and chronic diseases that have limited treatment options, such as type 1 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, stroke and autism.

The cash-and-stock acquisition of CBR is Amag’s first in the maternity-related business since it bought Lumara Health Inc for $675 million in September.

CBR earns revenue by charging new mothers when they sign up for its service and also to store the stem cells each year.

CBR’s 2014 revenue of $126 million was slightly more than Amag’s revenue for the same period and is expected to be flat or increase slightly in 2015, Amag said.

Amag said it expected 2015 revenue of about $500 million, including CBR, and that it expected the deal to add to its profit immediately.

Heiden said Amag is expected to save about $15 million a year given the overlap in customers using its drug to prevent pre-term birth, Makena, and those signing up for CBR’s services.

Deutsche Bank and Jefferies are Amag’s financial advisers and Goodwin Procter LLP is its legal adviser. CBR’s and GTCR’s legal adviser is Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Waltham, Massachusetts-based Amag’s stock, which had gained 65.6 percent this year, was marginally higher at $70.71 in late morning trading. (Reporting by Vidya L Nathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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