French pharmaceuticals giant Sanofi agreed on Monday to buy Belgian biopharm company Ablynx for €3.9bn (£3.43bn).
In its second major acquisition announcement so far this year, Sanofi offered €45 a share, beating by 47% a €2.6bn offer from Danish rival Novo Nordisk.
Ablynx's board unanimously agreed the Sanofi bid, which represented a 135% premium to the company's share price before Novo made its first bid in December.
Edwin Moses, chief executive of Ablynx, said: "We believe Sanofi’s global infrastructure, commitment to innovation and commercial capabilities will accelerate our ability to deliver our pipeline.
Our board of directors feels strongly that this transaction represents compelling value for shareholders and maximizes the potential of our pipeline to the benefit of all stakeholders."
Sanofi's CEO Olivier Brandicourt added: "With Ablynx, we continue to advance the strategic transformation of our research and development, expanding our late-stage pipeline and strengthening our platform for growth in rare blood disorders."
Indeed, Sanofi has made a strong push into the treatment of blood disorders. Last week the company announced it was to acquire US biotech group Bioverativ for $11.6bn.
At $105 per share, Sanofi was paying a 64% premium to Bioverativ's share price at the close on Friday before the deal was announced.
Shares in Ablynx were up 3.57% to €37.12 on the Brussels Stock Exchange on Monday. On the Paris bourse, Sanofi's shares edged 0.03% lower to €73.46.