Roche buys InterMune for $8.3B; biggest acquisition in 5 years

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

New York, NY, United States (4E) – Roche will acquire U.S. biotech firm InterMune in a $8.3bn deal, its biggest acquisition for five years, in the latest M&A activity sweeping the pharmaceuticals industry.

The all-cash transaction will allow the Swiss pharmaceutical giant access to InterMune’s new medicine for a previously untreatable lung condition, as the company seeks to enter the so-called orphan drugs for rare or incurable diseases.

The transaction marks the largest for Roche since it acquired U.S. biotech firm Genentech for $47bn in 2009, and its fourth acquisition this year as the big pharma responds to investor pressure to make more use of its cash reserves.

The per-share offer of $74 represents a premium of 63 percent of InterMune’s stock price before news of a takeover emerged in mid-August. The California-based firm makes drugs for treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a lung-scarring disease that affects 50,000 to 70,000 people in the U.S. and 80,000 to 110,000 people in Europe.

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