Alfasigma to acquire Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT) for $19/share

September 26, 2023 8:03 AM EDT

(Updated - September 26, 2023 8:04 AM EDT)

Alfasigma S.p.A, one of Italy's leading pharmaceutical companies, and Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ICPT), a leading biopharmaceutical company in rare and serious liver diseases, today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Alfasigma has agreed to acquire Intercept for $19.00 per share in cash. The anticipated transaction will materially expand Alfasigma’s gastrointestinal and hepatology portfolio and its presence in the U.S. market.

Intercept’s lead medicine is Ocaliva® (obeticholic acid), a farnesoid X receptor agonist approved in the United States and several other jurisdictions for the treatment of primary biliary cholangitis (“PBC”) in combination with ursodeoxycholic acid (“UDCA”) in adults with an inadequate response to UDCA, or as monotherapy in adults unable to tolerate UDCA. Ocaliva® is the only approved second-line therapy for PBC and has experienced double-digit year-over-year growth supported by an experienced specialty sales force and strong prescriber base. Intercept also benefits from a broader clinical development pipeline anchored by a novel fixed-dose combination of obeticholic acid and bezafibrate in phase 2 trials for PBC.

Mr. Stefano Golinelli, Chairman of Alfasigma Board, declared: “Today’s proposed acquisition is aligned with our strategy to build presence in the U.S. market, with a focus in our core gastroenterological area while adding another important asset to our innovation pipeline. This acquisition will contribute to the ambitious growth strategy designed for our company.”

Mr. Francesco Balestrieri, Chief Executive Officer of Alfasigma, said: “The acquisition of Intercept marks another important milestone in Alfasigma’s growth path, particularly with regard to the U.S. market in which we have significant development objectives. Intercept represents a compelling fit with Alfasigma’s core business areas of gastroenterology and hepatology, and we believe that the transaction represents a transformational opportunity for both companies. We are excited to welcome Intercept employees and look forward to working together as we invest in the company to realize the full potential, to the benefit of patients.”

Mr. Jerry Durso, President and Chief Executive Officer of Intercept, commented: “We are pleased to announce this transaction with Alfasigma, which delivers significant value to shareholders. Importantly, it recognizes the value of our portfolio, R&D and commercial capabilities and our talented people across the organization. The team at Intercept is proud of the breakthrough, innovative work that we have done as a pioneer, delivering life-saving medicine to patients with rare and serious liver diseases such as PBC.”

Transaction Terms

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Alfasigma has agreed to commence a cash tender offer to acquire all issued and outstanding shares of Intercept common stock for US$19.00 per share in cash. The purchase price represents a premium of 82% to Intercept’s closing stock price on September 25, 2023.

The transaction will be fully financed by Alfasigma’s existing cash on hand and existing corporate credit facilities. The members of the Board of Directors of Intercept participating in the decision have unanimously approved the transaction.

The closing of the tender offer will be subject to customary conditions, including the tender of shares which represent at least a majority of the total number of Intercept’s outstanding shares of common stock and the expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. Upon successful completion of the tender offer, Alfasigma would acquire all shares not acquired in the tender offer through a second-step merger for the same consideration that the tendering stockholders will receive in the tender offer.

It is anticipated the transaction will close by the end of 2023. Upon completion of the transaction, Intercept’s common stock will no longer be publicly listed.


Barclays and Centerview Partners are serving as financial advisors to Intercept. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP are serving as legal counsel to Intercept. PJT Partners is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Alfasigma and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and Chiomenti Studio Legale as legal counsel to Alfasigma.

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