Varian Medical to buy Australian liver-cancer treatment maker Sirtex for $1.28 bn

US cancer-treatment company Varian Medical Systems yesterday struck a deal to buy Australian liver-cancer treatment maker Sirtex Medical for $1.28 billion (A$1.585 billion).

Under the terms of the deal that has been agreed by the board of both companies, Varian Medical will pay A$28 per share in cash, a 49-per cent premium to Sirtex's closing price of A$18.83 on  Friday in Sydney.

Varian plans to finance the acquisition using cash on hand as well as proceeds from borrowings.

The transaction is expected to close in late May 2018, subject to the approval of Sirtex shareholders, the Federal Court of Australia and other customary closing conditions.

Sirtex's lead product is a targeted internal radiation therapy for certain liver cancers.  Approximately 80,000 doses of SIR-Spheres Y-90 resin microspheres have been supplied to treat patients with liver cancer at over 1,090 medical centers in over 40 countries.

The therapy is approved in the US, the European Union and Australia. Sirtex has around 300 employees worldwide and manufacturing capabilities in the US, Singapore and Germany.

Sirtex reported a  loss of A$26.3 million on annual revenues of A$234 million in the fiscal year ended June 30 June 2017.

Varian Medical is a radiation oncology treatments and software maker. Its medical devices include linear accelerators and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, proton therapy, and brachytherapy.

The company supplies software for managing cancer clinics, radiotherapy centers, and medical oncology practices.

The California-based company is a supplier of tubes and digital detectors for X-ray imaging in medical diagnostics, dentistry, veterinary care, scientific, security, and industrial inspection including high-energy X-ray technology for cargo screening.

Varian Medical employs more than 6,500 people at manufacturing sites in North America, Europe, and China.

Varian said that the acquisition will extend its leadership in radiation medicine, expands its market into interventional oncology, and is consistent with its long-term growth and value creation strategy.

Varian expects to leverage its capabilities in treatment planning and delivery, image guidance and processing, oncology practice management software, and radiation safety in combination with Sirtex's interventional oncology platform to provide customers of both companies with a wider range of cancer care solutions.

"This acquisition is the latest step in Varian's long-term strategy to become a global leader in multi-disciplinary integrated cancer care solutions," said Dow Wilson, CEO of Varian.

"The combination of the two companies will expand the reach of the Sirtex platform by making it more broadly available to the clinical community," he added.