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Roche Reported to Be Close to Deal in Genentech Acquisition

Written by on Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Roche is reportedly close to reaching a deal over the Genentech acquisition.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday night that the terms of the current deal under consideration would provide for a share price of $95 per share, which is 6% higher than Roche’s initial offer back in July.

Reuters is reporting that a source close to Roche says that the company would pay as high as $105 per share to close the deal, but that the source currently doubts that this will be necessary.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, sources close to the negotations are saying that this is basically a “done deal.”

So, we may finally be on the verge of losing a Bay Area icon.  Before the first Roche bid back in July, it seemed almost unfathomable to imagine the Bay Area biotech community without Genentech.  Now, it is all but a certainty that Genentech will be absorbed into Roche, and we in the biotech world little by little have grown to accept a community without Genentech.

In looking at this deal, it is impossible not to believe that the declining economy played an important role in the negotiations.  As the value of shares tumble, what shareholder wouldn’t seriously consider the possibility of cashing out?  In this case, shareholders knew they had an eager buyer waiting on the sidelines, so as the economy continued to deteriorate, the willingness to sell likely grew.

Furthermore, both Reuters and the San Jose Mercury News are reporting that Genentech at least seems to be growing weary of the shadow of uncertainty hanging over the company.  There is only so long that you can keep a company in limbo and prevent it from disintegrating.  I expect that Genentech is starting to recognize the impact that Roche’s ongoing acquisition efforts are having over the company generally, and that perhaps some key people over at Genentech are starting feel that it is time to move forward with what is increasingly perceived as the inevitable.

So, the California Biotech Law Blog anticipates that an announcement of a done deal is forthcoming.  We will keep you posted as the developments arise.


Category: Biotech Deals  |  Comments Off on Roche Reported to Be Close to Deal in Genentech Acquisition

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