Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Ventana Accepts $3.4 Billion

Roche finally nabs its man. Or in this case, its diagnostics company. All it took was an extra $14.50 per share. From the companies' press release:

This offer represents a premium of 4.9% to Ventana's closing price on January 18, 2008, a 19.3% premium to Roche's initial offer on June 27, 2007, and a 72.3% premium to Ventana's closing price on June 22, 2007 (the last trading day prior to the announcement of Roche's initial offer). The acquisition of Ventana, a leader in the fast-growing histopathology (tissue-based diagnostics) segment, will allow Roche to broaden its diagnostic offerings and complement its world leadership in both in-vitro diagnostic systems and oncology therapies.
Here's a recap: Roche spent most of 2007 getting turned down by Ventana, which played down the pharma's $3 billion offer multiple times. First they said please, then highlighted its belief in the importance of its diagnostics business by promoting its dx head Severin Schwann to CEO of the whole Roche Group. We suggested soon thereafter that Ventana should do the deal (this is why we are not CEOs, we suppose), and in late November they agreed to let Roche behind the curtain with an eye toward a more equitable arrangement (ka-ching!). Roche again extended its offer for the company earlier this month, and that brings us to this morning's $89.50 per-share-deal announcement.

We've outlined the rationale for this deal before (follow several of the links above). Roche clearly believes that personalized medicine is the future, and is sure that Ventana will help them get there. $3.4 billion sure.

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