LONDON — The Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis said on Monday that it had offered to buy Advanced Accelerator Applications of France for $3.9 billion in cash, as it seeks to bolster its portfolio of cancer treatments.
The acquisition comes amid a slowdown in the value of deals in the pharmaceutical sector this year. Typically, large companies in the industry have made a major impact on merger activity in the wider health care sector, often buying up smaller drugmakers with emerging treatments rather than spending billions of dollars on their own research and development.
But the total size of such acquisitions has slowed in 2017, as many big pharmaceutical companies have concentrated on integrating purchases made in recent years, rather than pushing through new takeovers.
The Novartis deal targets a business that develops and produces radiopharmaceutical products used in the treatment of tumors.
Advanced Accelerator Applications, based in St.-Genis-Pouilly, France, employs more than 550 people at 21 production and research-and-development facilities in 13 countries. It had sales of 109 million euros, or about $126.5 million, in 2016.
Its products include Lutathera, which recently received approval from regulators in Europe to treat certain types of tumors. Lutathera is under review by the authorities in the United States.
Novartis said in a news release that the transaction would strengthen the company’s stable of cancer treatments “with both near-term product launches as well as a new technology platform with potential applications across a number of oncology early development programs.”
The company reported sales of $48.5 billion last year and has about 121,000 employees.
Under the terms of the deal, Novartis has offered to pay $41 per ordinary share and $82 per American depositary share. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval and to the agreement of shareholders to sell at least 80 percent of Advanced Accelerator Applications’ outstanding ordinary shares to Novartis.
“It is with great satisfaction that we announce this proposed transaction with Novartis, who we have long felt would be an ideal partner,” Stefano Buono, the French company’s chief executive, said in a news release.
“We believe that the combination of our expertise in radiopharmaceuticals and theragnostic strategy together with the global oncology experience and infrastructure of Novartis, provide the best prospects for our patients, physicians and employees, as well as the broader nuclear medicine community,” he added.