FILE PHOTO: Sanofi logo is seen in Paris

Sanofi has agreed to buy U.S. biotech company Translate Bio in a $3.2 billion deal, as it bets on next-generation mRNA technology after setbacks in the COVID-19 vaccine race, confirming a Reuters exclusive report. Sanofi said it would acquire all outstanding shares of Translate Bio for $38.00 per share in cash, representing a total equity value of about $3.2 billion for Translate Bio.

The boards of both companies have approved the deal, and the chief executive of Translate Bio and the U.S. company’s largest shareholder have backed the takeover offer, Sanofi and Translate Bio said in a joint statement.

Shares in the French pharmaceuticals company edged up 0.3% in early morning trade.

“Translate Bio adds an mRNA technology platform and strong capabilities to our research, further advancing our ability to explore the promise of this technology to develop both best-in-class vaccines and therapeutics,” said Sanofi Chief Executive Paul Hudson. Translate Bio’s shares surged on Monday following the Reuters report. Sanofi’s offer of $38 represents a 30.4% premium to Translate Bio’s August 2 closing price of $29.15.

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