Novo Nordisk to Acquire Emisphere Technologies for $1.35 Billion

ROSELAND, N.J., Nov. 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Emisphere Technologies, Inc. (“Emisphere” or the “Company”) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Novo Nordisk A/S (“Novo Nordisk”), whereby Novo Nordisk will acquire Emisphere, on a cash-free, debt-free basis, for $1.35 billion in cash. The consideration to be paid per share will depend on the amount of cash and debt at closing, but the Company currently estimates it to be approximately $7.82 per share based on approximately 170.9 million fully diluted shares outstanding. This price represents a premium of approximately 17% over the volume-weighted average Emisphere share price for the five trading days ending on November 5, 2020.

Novo Nordisk and Emisphere have collaborated since 2007, on Emisphere’s proprietary drug delivery technology Eligen®, which facilitates the enhanced oral absorption of molecules without altering their chemical form, biological integrity or pharmacological properties. Novo Nordisk is currently utilizing Emisphere’s carrier technology under an existing license agreement in its oral formulation of a GLP-1 receptor agonist semaglutide, which is marketed and sold under the brand name Rybelsus®.

Contemporaneously with this agreement, Novo Nordisk entered into an agreement to acquire the related royalty stream obligations owed to affiliates of MHR Fund Management LLC (“MHR”) for $450 million. The acquisition of this royalty stream and the merger with Emisphere will occur simultaneously.

The Board of Directors of Emisphere approved the merger, upon the unanimous recommendation of a Special Committee consisting entirely of independent and disinterested Emisphere directors. MHR and the directors of Emisphere (collectively owning a majority of the outstanding Emisphere shares) have agreed to vote their shares in favor of the transaction.

“After a thorough analysis of strategic alternatives, the Emisphere Board and the Special Committee unanimously determined that a combination with Novo Nordisk is the best way to maximize value for our stockholders,” said Timothy G. Rothwell, Chairman of Emisphere.

“MHR was an early believer in Emisphere and its proprietary Eligen drug delivery technology. Our longstanding support of the company was validated when its partnership with Novo Nordisk resulted in the development of an oral formulation for GLP-1, which we believe will be a transformative drug for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. We are immensely proud of the pivotal role we have played in Emisphere’s success, culminating in today’s announced transaction with Novo Nordisk, which will deliver immediate and substantial value to all Emisphere shareholders,” said Mark H. Rachesky, M.D., Founder of MHR and a member of the board of Emisphere.

The merger is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by Emisphere stockholders and the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

Emisphere is represented by Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz as legal advisor. Jefferies LLC is acting as the Emisphere Special Committee’s financial advisor and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP is acting as its legal advisor.

About Eligen® Carrier Technology

Eligen® technology enables drug therapies to be provided in a tablet formulation with an absorption-enhancing excipient. Emisphere created Eligen® technology, its proprietary oral drug delivery platform, to facilitate the absorption of small and large molecules without altering their chemical form, biological integrity or pharmacological properties. Notably, the technology enables the transport of therapeutic molecules including large peptides and proteins across biological membranes such as those of the gastrointestinal tract.

About Emisphere Technologies

Emisphere is a drug delivery company that utilises its proprietary technologies to develop new oral formulations of therapeutic agents. For more information, please visit the Company's website at


Emisphere Technologies, Inc.

Michelle Pappanastos
Argot Partners