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Origin Withdraws Bid to Acquire Affymetrix

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Origin Technologies said last night that it has withdrawn its proposal to acquire Affymetrix for $17.00 per share in cash.

The announcement follows Affymetrix's statement yesterday that it had determined that Origin's offer was not a superior proposal to its previously approved merger agreement with Thermo Fisher Scientific, despite representing a $3.00 per share premium over the Thermo Fisher deal.

"We are disappointed that Affymetrix has chosen not to pursue our compelling proposal despite our efforts to work in good faith toward a definitive agreement," Origin President Wei Zhou said in a statement, adding that Origin disagrees with Affy's assessment of the perceived risks of its bid.

In its statement on Origin's proposal yesterday, Affy said that its board had determined that a promised $100 million reverse termination fee was inadequate when weighed against the material risk of Affymetrix stockholders losing the premium present in the approximately $1.5 billion equity value of the Thermo Fisher merger.

Based on these and other risk calculations, the company said it had concluded that the Origin offer does not constitute a superior proposal, and thus it continued to recommend that shareholders vote in favor of the merger with Thermo Fisher at the firm's March 31 stockholder meeting.

Withdrawing its competing offer today, Origin said that as part of discussions with Affymetrix, the company had also made a counter proposal to Origin requiring that Origin place "hundreds of millions of dollars in a US escrow account" by Monday, March 28.

"This unrealistic demand was communicated to Origin during the evening of Friday, March 25, 2016, giving Origin only one business day to comply and transfer third-party funds from an international firm into the US," Zhou explained.

In Tuesday morning trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Affymetrix were down around 1 percent at $14.01.