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Roche Inks $3.4 Billion Deal to Acquire Ventana

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Nearly seven months after its initial $3 billion bid to acquire Ventana Medical Systems was rebuffed by that company’s board of directors, Roche today announced that it has signed a definitive merger agreement with Ventana valued at roughly $3.4 billion.
Under terms of the agreement, Roche will acquire Ventana for $89.50 per share in cash, up from its previously rejected bid of $75 per share. In early trade on the Nasdaq, Ventana’s shares were up 4.1 percent at $88.86 per share.
Roche’s offer at $89.50 will expire at 7:00 PM EST on Feb. 7, and Ventana’s board will recommend the firm’s shareholders tender their shares to Roche.
Roche had extended its offer at $75 per share several times over the past six months, but Ventana’s board repeatedly called the offer “grossly inadequate.” As of last week, less than .2 percent of Ventana’s approximately 35 million outstanding shares had been tendered pursuant to the $75 per share offer.
The Ventana acquisition will provide Roche with a tissue-based diagnostics platform, which it currently lacks and sees as an important piece of the oncology diagnostics market.
“Our combined company will be uniquely positioned to further expand Ventana's business globally and together develop more cost-efficient, differentiated and targeted medicines,” Franz Humer, chairman and CEO of Roche, said in a statement today.
Christopher Gleeson, Ventana's president and CEO, will continue as CEO of Ventana's business following completion of the acquisition and also will become a member of the Roche Diagnostics Executive Committee. Ventana will remain based in Tucson, Ariz. and Roche expects its employees will become part of the combined company.