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InterMune (ITMN) to be Acquired by Roche for $8.3 Billion

By: , dated August 25th, 2014

Shares of InterMune Inc. (ITMN) were up +19.00 or +35.32 percent to $72.80 per share in Monday’s premarket, after news broke on Sunday that Swiss pharmaceutical giant, Roche had entered into a definitive agreement to purchase InterMune for $74.00 per share. InterMune stock closed at $53.80 per share, up +0.59 or +1.11 percent in Friday’s regular trading session.

Brisbane, California based InterMune Inc. is a biotechnology company founded in 1998 and is primarily involved in the research and development of therapies for hepatology and pulmonology. The company markets Actimmune or interferon gamma-1b, which has been approved for the treatment of severe, malignant osteopetrosis and granulomatous disease. InterMune is in the process of developing two therapies to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), pirfenidone and interferon gamma-1b. Pirfenidone has been approved in Europe and Canada for the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis and is marketed under the name Esbriet. The drug could be approved in the United States by late November.

Basel, Switzerland based Roche Holding AG is the holding company for F. Hoffman-La Roche AG, the world’s fifth largest pharmaceutical company. The company has pharmaceutical and diagnostic sites in the United States, Puerto Rico, the UK, Ireland, Germany, Canada, China, India, Brazil, Italy, South Africa and Pakistan. Roche operates 26 pharmaceutical manufacturing sites around the globe.

Under the agreement, Roche will begin their tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of InterMune common stock before August 29th. In addition, the InterMune board will file a statement recommending that InterMune shareholders tender their shares to Roche.

After completion of the tender offer, Roche will acquire all remaining shares at the same price of $74 per share through a secondary step merger. The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of this year.

Dan Welch, InterMune’s Chairman, Chief Executive and President said in the company’s press release that, “This merger recognizes the significant value created by our team’s commitment, hard work and execution for more than a decade to develop and commercialize treatment options for IPF patients and their families. Roche shares our passion and commitment to the IPF community and to ensuring that pirfenidone is available as quickly as possible to patients in the United States, pending FDA approval. Roche’s global resources and scale will not only facilitate and accelerate our ability to deliver pirfenidone to more patients around the world, but also to realize our joint vision to bring additional innovative therapies to patients with respiratory diseases.”

In a conference call yesterday, Roche Chief Executive Officer Severin Schwan stated that, “The key driver was the clinical data,” he continued, “This will allow Roche to grow and strengthen its pulmonary franchise globally. It’s a perfect fit from a portfolio point of view.”

Earlier this month, InterMune reported revenue from Esbriet soared to $35.7 million in the second quarter compared to $14.4 million in the same period one year ago. InterMune’s total revenue for the second quarter came to $66.0 million versus $24.9 million in the first six months of 2013, an improvement of +165 percent.
The offer for InterMune is 38 percent above Friday’s closing price and 63 percent above InterMune’s closing price on August 12th, when a deal was first considered. Both boards have approved the acquisition.

Other News About InterMune
Roche CEO On Intermune Deal: ‘This Is A Growth Story’
CEO Severin Schwan said that the takeover “exemplifies the Roche strategy.”
InterMune Q2 Loss Wider than Expected, Expense Guidance Up
Loss of -$0.67 was better than last year’s -$0.78 but missed expectations of -$0.56 per share.

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Jay Hawk Jay Hawk enjoyed a 12-year professional financial markets career incorporating extensive first hand futures and options experience obtained by trading in the stock, commodity and forex markets on U.S. exchanges. Since retiring as a full-time financial market professional, he has been actively trading stock, commodities, forex and options for his own account and managing funds for others, as well as writing financial market commentary and educational articles.

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