US-based healthcare services provider Thermo Fisher Scientific has agreed to acquire molecular diagnostic technologies firm Qiagen for approximately $11.5bn.

QIAGEN is a provider of life science and molecular diagnostic solutions and employs about 5,100 people at 35 locations in more than 25 nations.

Thermo Fisher Scientific chairman president and chief executive officer Marc Casper said: “We are excited to bring together our complementary offerings to advance our customers’ important work, from discovery to diagnostics. This acquisition provides us with the opportunity to leverage our industry-leading capabilities and R&D expertise to accelerate innovation and address emerging healthcare needs.

“For shareholders, we expect the transaction to be immediately accretive and to generate significant cost and revenue synergies. We look forward to welcoming Qiagen’s employees to Thermo Fisher and are excited about the new opportunities we’ll have to advance precision medicine through new molecular diagnostics and improved life sciences workflows.”

The transaction will expand Thermo Fisher’s speciality diagnostics portfolio

Thermo Fisher has developed diagnostics capabilities, including allergy and autoimmunity, transplant diagnostics and clinical oncology testing while Qiagen works on molecular diagnostics, with its product portfolio, focused on infectious disease.

In addition, the sample preparation, assay and bioinformatics technologies from Qiagen are said to complement Thermo Fisher’s genetic analysis and biosciences capabilities.

The transaction is expected to expand the speciality diagnostics portfolio of Thermo Fisher with advanced molecular diagnostics capabilities, including infectious disease testing. The combined company is expected to develop advanced tests to improve patient outcomes and reduce the cost of care.

The acquisition is expected to be closed in the first half of 2021, subject to the fulfilment of certain customary closing conditions, including the regulatory approvals, the adoption of certain resolutions related to the transaction, and the closing of the tender offer.

QIAGEN interim chief executive officer and senior vice president Thierry Bernard said: “Our vision at QIAGEN has always been to make improvements in life possible with our differentiated Sample to Insight molecular testing solutions. This strategic step with Thermo Fisher will enable us to enter a promising new era and will give our employees the opportunity to have an even greater impact.

“The combination is designed to deliver significant cash value to our shareholders, while enabling us to accelerate the expansion of our solutions to provide customers worldwide with breakthroughs that advance our knowledge about the science of life and improve health outcomes.”

On the transaction, J.P. Morgan Securities and Morgan Stanley are serving as financial advisors to Thermo Fisher and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is serving as legal counsel.

For Qiagen, Goldman Sachs is serving as lead financial advisor and Barclays Bank is serving as financial advisor, while De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek NV, Linklaters and Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C. are serving as legal counsel.