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Roche to acquire Genentech for $46.8 bln
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15:32, March 13, 2009

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Genentech, a biotechnology industry pioneer based in South San Francisco, on Thursday agreed to be acquired by Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche for 46.8 billion U.S. dollars.

In a joint statement, the two companies said they had reached agreement to allow Roche to buy the 44 percent of Genentech shares it doesn't already own for 95 dollars per share in cash.

"We have had a highly successful partnership with Roche for more than 18 years, and we intend to pursue our shared goal of discovering medications for serious and life-threatening conditions," Arthur Levinson, chief executive officer of Genentech, said in the statement.

"We look forward to working with our partners at Roche to ensure a smooth transition once the transaction is complete and to continue our mission of serving patients," he added.

The combined company will be the seventh largest U.S. pharmaceuticals company in terms of market share, generating about17 billion dollars in annual revenues with around 17,500 employees in the U.S. pharmaceuticals business alone.

Research and early development will operate as an independent center within Roche from its existing campus in South San Francisco, the two companies said, promising that Genentech's "unique culture" will be maintained.

Roche's Pharma commercial operations in the United States will also be moved from New Jersey to South San Francisco.

The combined company's U.S. commercial operations in pharmaceuticals will operate under the Genentech name, leveraging the strong brand value of Genentech in the U.S. market.

Founded in 1976, Genentech has rolled out many "firsts" in drug development including the first antibody treatment for cancer.

Genentech played a leading role in the development of the nascent biotech industry of the 1970s, which is comparable to Apple's place in the rise of the personal computer, the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper said in a report.

Source: Xinhua

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