Biogen sells its Bioepis stake bit by bit
Biogen’s sale of its 49.9% stake in Samsung Bioepis to the other party in the joint venture, Samsung Biologics, could be a move towards shoring Biogen up in the wake of the Aduhelm mess. The $2.3bn price – $1bn cash up front followed by $812.5m a year later and $437.5m a year after that – has disappointed Wells Fargo analysts, however. They note that the price is only just higher than the $2.24bn valuation Samsung gave the stake in 2018, and suggest that the lack of other interested parties and private nature of the stake might explain the low price. Mizuho analysts go further, citing a South Korea news article that valued Bioepis at around $10bn and suggesting that Biogen held on to its stake so long because it was waiting for half that sum. But now the continuing controversy around Aduhelm has seen Biogen hint at a coming restructuring; added to the $3bn cash the group already has, the immediate $1bn Bioepis windfall could give Biogen more deal-making firepower to diversify beyond Alzheimer’s, as well as hedging against the possibility of failure of lecanemab in the Clarity-AD trial later this year.