Sirtex Medical's $1.6 billion takeover is 2018's biggest deal so far

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images/Cancer Research UK

Sirtex Medical, which makes radioactive spheres to treat inoperable liver cancer, is under a $1.6 billion offer, the biggest Australian takeover deal so far this year.

The cash deal from US-listed Varian, a Californian based company which develops cancer care solutions, is for $28 a share, a 49% premium to the last traded price of $18.83.

Sirtex has received a number of offers over the last 12 months but this scheme of arrangement has the backing of the board of directors.

“In recommending the scheme, we have considered the future potential prospects and the risks associated with an investment in Sirtex,” says Interim Chairman Dr John Eady.

“Whilst we remain confident that the company would continue to have a successful stand-alone future, we believe that the material premium provided by Varian and the certainty of all cash consideration is an attractive outcome for shareholders.”

Dow Wilson, the CEO of Varian, said: “Sirtex is a highly complementary strategic fit with our existing solutions for the treatment of cancer. We are excited by the opportunity to expand Sirtex’s business and continue to provide physicians and patients around the world with smart, efficient, and high-quality care.”

Sirtex is due to release its December half results on February 21 but earlier this month released unaudited preliminary numbers showing EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) up 16% to $34 million.

CEO Andrew McLean said he expected higher sales in the second half.

UBS AG Australia is acting as financial adviser and Watson Mangioni as legal adviser to Sirtex.

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.