J&J Offers $2.3B in Crucell Takeover


U.S. healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) has launched a $2.3 billion bid to takeover vaccine maker Crucell in an effort to catapult itself into the global vaccine market.

Through its newly formed indirect wholly-owned subsidiary JJC Acquisition Company, the U.S. drug maker offered to purchase all of Crucell’s outstanding shares not currently owned by J&J for about $33 each, reflecting a 58% premium over its closing price on Sept. 16, the day before the negotiations were made public.

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J&J already owns 17.9% of Crucell, which makes children’s vaccines as well as others for diseases such as measles, typhoid and hepatitis.

The deal is long-awaited, as the two companies, whose boards unanimously approve the deal, originally announced the preliminary terms of the transaction early last month. However J&J ran into roadblocks from critics who said the deal did not fairly value Crucell.

Just last week J&J said it would go ahead with the takeover but would keep the option to alter terms if problems at the Dutch company’s South Korean manufacturing plant proved worse than expected.

Crucell had suspended operations at its Shingal site and halted shipments of two vaccines due to sterility issues, causing it to cut its full-year guidance.

Upon acquiring the global biopharmaceutical company, J&J said it plans to maintain Crucell’s existing facilities, retain its senior management and try to keep current employment levels. The new unit would act as J&J’s center for vaccines, headquartered in South Holland, within its pharmaceuticals group.

The transaction, pending Crucell shareholder and regulatory approvals as well as other customary closing conditions, is expected to close early next year.

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