Solvay has taken a giant leap forward in its bid to gain control of fellow Belgian firm Innogenetics after it upped its bid to buy the diagnostics group.

At the end of April, Solvay offered 5.75 euros per share in what was described at the time as a friendly bid and valued Innogenetics at 177.6 million euros. However the USA’s Gen-Probe then trumped that offer and bid 6.10 euros per share, saying a combined entity would create “the largest stand–alone molecular diagnostics company in the world”.

Now Solvay has upped its bid to 6.50 euros per share, thus valuing Innogenetics at 200.7 million euros. This represents a 74% premium to the firm’s closing price the day before the announcement of the initial offer, and in addition, Solvay will offer to purchase Innogenetics warrants and convertible bonds.

The likelihood of this new bid being successful has soared as Gen-Probe said it does not intend to increase its bid. Chief executive Hank Nordhoff said that “the disciplined analytical process we used to value Innogenetics resulted in a full and fair offer, and a higher bid therefore does not make financial sense for us”. He added that the firm’s existing clinical diagnostics and blood screening businesses remain healthy “and we continue to focus on growing them in the USA and internationally."

So only Solvay’s offer remains on the table and the firm noted that it is conditional on reaching a 75% acceptance threshold and Innogenetics not making a loss exceeding 10 million euros. The proposed deal has already obtained regulatory clearance and Solvay also has secured the support of reference shareholders which will sell their 18.48% stake. However, Innogenetics board has yet to give its opinion of the offer.

Trading in shares of Innogenetics was suspended before Solvay’s revised offer was announced but resumed yesterday evening and the stock ended the day up 5.1% to 6.41 euros.