Sirtex Medical, an Australian biotech, received an unsolicited $1.41 billion counteroffer from Chinese fund manager CDH Investments.
The counteroffer by CDH is a nonbinding, indicative and conditional proposal for 100% of Sirtex stock at $25.28 (AU$33.6) per share.
Sirtex specializes in the treatment of liver cancer with its lead product SIR-Spheres, which are radioactive beads that target high doses of radiation to liver tumors. Sirtex has manufacturing capabilities in the U.S., Singapore and Germany.
Earlier this year, U.S.-based Varian Medical Systems made a surprise $1.3 billion bid for Sirtex that the board of directors continues to support.
The board believes “the existing scheme of arrangement with Varian is in the best interests of Sirtex shareholders and continue to unanimously support and recommend” the Varian offer, the company said in a statement.
Prior to the CDH offer, neither it nor Sirtex were in talks, the company said. The counteroffer was made before a meeting scheduled for Monday to approve the Varian takeover. The Sirtex board said it plans to postpone the Monday meeting to a later date in order to review the CDH offer.
Although the company said it will enter into discussions with CDH, it made clear by highlighting in bold the statement, “There is no certainty that the Indicative Proposal will result in a binding offer and Sirtex recommends that shareholders take no action at this point in time.”
Any acquisition would be conditional upon approval of Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board.