Ending nearly eight months of negotiations, Roche and Genentech agreed yesterday on a price of $95 per share in cash (approximately $46.8 billion) for Roche to acquire the 44% of Genentech it doesn’t already own. After three rejected offers ($89 per share, then $86.50, and then $93), and after much speculation by analysts about what the final price would be, Roche’s increased offer was accepted by Genentech’s board of directors.
Charles Sanders, chairman of the Special Committee of Genentech’s board of directors, said in a joint statement by the two companies, “We believe this is a fair offer for Genentech shareholders, and the Committee is pleased to come to a successful conclusion of this process.”
Franz B. Humer, chairman of the Roche Group, said, “I am delighted that the intensive negotiations have led to a successful conclusion.”
The statement announced that a “friendly agreement” was reached and outlined plans to combine the two companies. The plans include moving Roche’s pharmaceutical commercial operations in the United States from Nutley, New Jersey, to Genentech’s South San Francisco site, which will become the headquarters of the combined US commercial operations of the two companies. The statement describes plans for research and early development to operate as an independent center and states that Genentech’s “unique culture” will be maintained.
The Roche-Genentech deal is the latest in the so-called “mega mergers” in the pharmaceutical industry, formed in the interest of cutting costs, strengthening pipelines, and combining portfolios in the face of increasing generic competition. This is the third big deal in Big Pharma this year and the second this week, following Monday’s announcement of Merck and Schering-Plough entering an agreement for $41.1 billion and the merger of Pfizer and Wyeth for $68 billion announced in late January.