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Roche moves to secure Ventana deal


Roche has acquired 70.5% of shares in Ventana Medical Systems, which should allow the group to complete its $3bn-plus deal for the firm without requiring the approval of its remaining shareholders.

Back in January, Roche finally won the approval of Ventana’s board, who had rebuffed previous proposals, after raising its offer by about 19% to $89.50 a share.

The Swiss pharmaceuticals giant has been trying to take over Ventana since June, and had upped its bid five times before finally clinching the deal.

Based on the amount of Ventana’s shares outstanding as of 30 September, the deal is valued at $3.1bn, but the two companies said the offer values Ventana at $3.4bn.

Roche said it would extend its offer to buy Ventana shares at that price until 15 February.

Roche chief executive Franz Humer said: “We are pleased that we have successfully completed this step in the transaction and look forward to welcoming Ventana to the Roche Group.”

Ventana has 800 employees and recorded sales of $238.2m in 2006. The company develops and sells instruments and chemicals used to automatically prepare tissue samples for cancer screening and the testing of new drugs.

Copyright © PA Business 2008


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