Life sciences firm agrees terms of £203m takeover

A Staffordshire life science software firm is set to go private as its board will recommend to shareholders a £203m acquisition deal from Archimed.

London-listed Instem, a provider of IT services in the drug development and global life sciences market has agreed terms to be purchased by the French healthcare-focused investment firm, allowing Instem to “pursue its organic growth strategy” after it’s de-listed.

Headquartered in Stone, Instem employs around 500 staff and was first floated on AIM in 2010 at a share price of 204p, Now, Archimed has offered 833p a share cash offer – a deal Instem’s Chair says will “generate substantial long-term value for shareholders” and benefit from the expertise and capital of Archimed.

With offices in Europe, North America and Asia, Archimed has more than £8bn of assets under management and has directly managed and invested in 80 small to large-size healthcare companies globally over the last twenty years.

The Bidco formed by Archimed believes it will “accelerate Instem’s growth strategy” through its “deep industry knowledge and network as a healthcare specialist investor”.

David Gare, Chair of Instem, said: “The Instem Board is pleased with the considerable progress made by the Company following the successful integration of acquisitions and the implementation of its strategy to achieve and maintain a growing portfolio of ‘world leading life science workflow and data solutions’.

“While this strategy, endorsed by the Board, is anticipated to generate substantial long-term value for shareholders, we also note that the next phase of development for the business is at an early stage and there is an element of risk attached to some of our recent initiatives, which will take time to deliver value.

“The offer from Bidco represents an attractive valuation and offers shareholders the certainty of cash today, while also fairly reflecting the exceptional quality of the Instem business, its people and its future prospects. Under Bidco’s private ownership, without the costs and regulation of a listed company, Instem will be able to pursue its organic growth strategy, while benefiting from the expertise and capital to accelerate its successful acquisitive growth plan.

“Accordingly, those members of the Board who are also Instem Shareholders have irrevocably undertaken to vote the Instem Shares in which they are interested in favour of the Acquisition. The Board also intends to recommend unanimously that Instem Shareholders also vote in favour of the Acquisition.”

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