Brussels (Belgium) 2 April 2020 – 15:00 (CEST) – UCB today announced that the acquisition of Ra Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has been successfully completed and Ra Pharma is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of UCB. The former Ra Pharma shareholders received US$ 48 in cash for each Ra Pharma share held at closing.
Jean-Christophe Tellier, CEO UCB said: “In the last 15 months, we made several significant steps on UCB’s strategic growth path, namely the “Accelerate and Expand” phase. This acquisition is a key part of this progress and an excellent strategic fit with UCB’s strategy. Ra Pharma builds upon our collective strengths and talents and adds to our strong internal growth opportunities. Zilucoplan gives us the opportunity to become a leader in treating people living with myasthenia gravis, an auto-antibody mediated neurological orphan disease with high unmet medical need. The acquisition also strengthens our neurology and immunology franchises with late and early-stage pipeline projects and adds a highly productive technology platform to our innovation engine.”
Financial guidance updated - The closing of this acquisition leads to an update of UCB’s 2020 financial guidance – as announced with the FY 2019 results press release on 20 February 2020.
For 2020, UCB is aiming for revenues in the range of € 5.05 – 5.15 billion thanks to the current core product growth and new patient populations being served. UCB will continue to advance its strong development pipeline to offer potential new solutions for patients and to explore complementary external opportunities. Hence, the underlying profitability, rEBITDA, in the range of 26-27% of revenue, will reflect the high R&D investment level, including the investment for the Ra Pharma pipeline. Core earnings per share are therefore now expected in the range of € 4.40 – 4.80 based on an average of 187 million shares outstanding.
The inclusion of Ra Pharma will be dilutive to UCB’s mid-term earnings level due to R&D investments. As a result, the mid-term target of UCB reaching a rEBITDA ratio (to revenue) of 31% moves to 2022 from 2021 as previously guided. The acquisition is expected to be Core EPS accretive from 2024 onwards and to enable accelerated top and bottom line growth for UCB from 2024 onwards.
The updated financial guidance above does not reflect any potential impacts from the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. The company is following these developments diligently to assess the financial significance of this pandemic to UCB.
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