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Horizon to acquire GE's gene tech business Dharmacon

PBR Staff Writer Published 20 July 2017

Gene editing company Horizon Discovery Group (HDG) has agreed to acquire General Electric’s (GE) gene tech business Dharmacon for $85m.

Dharmacon, which manufactures RNAi products, has a portfolio of gene editing products, particularly in CRISPR reagents and arrayed libraries.

It had generated revenues of $36.7m in 2016 with an EBITDA of $5.4m.

Horizon stated that its combination with Dharmacon will result in a leading global company when it comes to application of gene-editing and gene modulation in life science research.

The acquisition is expected to further consolidate the Cell Builders model of Horizon where gene editing and modulation platforms are utilized to design, engineer and apply cells for the advancement of healthcare in humans.

It will also provide Horizon's next generation research product and service offerings with immediate market access. This will be via Dharmacon’s strong e-commerce platform and established global distribution channels, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, said Horizon.

Horizon CEO Darrin Disley said: “We expect that the brand recognition, and sales, marketing (including eCommerce) and distribution channel particularly in the academic community as well as intimate relationships in Biotech and Pharma that Dharmacon will bring to Horizon, will transform the opportunity for Horizon's product portfolio as well as generate attractive cost-base synergies."

Under the terms of the transaction, Horizon will pay $50m in cash to GE and issue $35m worth shares in its company to a GE subsidiary which will end up with a stake of 8.8% in the gene editing company.

GE Healthcare president and CEO Kieran Murphy said: “We are pleased to reach an agreement that combines the strong Dharmacon brand and technologies with the industry leading gene editing technologies, products and services of Horizon.

“We believe that the combination creates a global leader in gene modulation and are excited to retain a meaningful stake in the combination."

The transaction is subject to approval of the Horizon shareholders on the share placing and anti-trust clearance in the US.