Roche wins the race for Intermune
24.08.2014 - Roche has closed the deal on Intermune – the Swiss drugmaker has fully acquired the US biotech for US$8.3bn.
Some of Europe’s biggest pharma companies such as British Glaxosmithkline and French Sanofi were competing for Intermune, insiders reported last week. Now, Roche has won the bidding war and will acquire the biotechnology company at a price of US$74 per share in an all-cash transaction – a premium of 38 percent on the company’s closing price on 22 August and a premium of 63 percent on its unaffected closing price on 12 August.
California-based Intermune is focused on the research, development and commercialisation of therapies in pulmonology and fibrotic diseases. With its lead medicine pirfenidone, the company has a pulmonary fibrosis treatment already on the market in the EU and Canada and under regulatory review in the United States and Roche now plans to launch the drug in the US this year. Orally active, anti-fibrotic agent Pirfenidone inhibits the synthesis of TGF-beta, a chemical mediator that controls many cell functions, including proliferation and differentiation, and plays a key role in fibrosis. The drug – marketed in the EU as Esbriet – will allow Roche to broaden its respiratory portfolio, which currently contains the lung disease products Pulmozyme and Xolair, both on the US market. Roche plans a smooth transition of Intermune employees and operations into the Roche organisation.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, Roche will commence a tender offer no later than 29 August 2014, to acquire all outstanding shares of Intermune common stock, and Intermune will file a recommendation statement containing the unanimous recommendation of its board that Intermune’s shareholders tender their shares to Roche. The transaction is expected to be neutral to core earnings per share in 2015 and accretive from 2016 onwards. The merger agreement has been approved by the boards of Intermune and Roche.