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Roche raises takeover bid for biotech giant Genentech

The Swiss drug developer bumps up its tender offer to $93 a share, or $45.7 billion, after its initial offer of $86.50 a share was met with resistance from shareholders.

March 07, 2009|Associated Press

NEW YORK — Swiss drug developer Roche Holding on Friday boosted its hostile tender offer for biotechnology pioneer Genentech Inc. to $93 a share, or $45.7 billion in total, after its initial bid failed to pick up much support from shareholders.

For weeks, Genentech's board had been calling Roche's $86.50 bid too low, with much of Wall Street saying shareholders probably wouldn't bite at the offer. In its statement Friday, Roche said it received tenders for only 500,000 shares in the offer that was set to expire March 12, a fraction of the 44% of Genentech it doesn't already own.

As of Feb. 6, Genentech has just over 1.05 billion shares of common stock outstanding, of which Roche held about 587.2 million. It needs the support from a majority of the other shareholders to complete any deal.

The $86.50 bid had been a surprise to many, after Genentech's board in August rejected Roche's previous bid of $89 a share.

The tender offer has been extended to March 20.

Shares of South San Francisco-based Genentech rose $9.22, or 11%, to $90.86. The stock has traded between $66.80 and $99.14 in the last 52 weeks.

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