Is Roche Spending Too Much for Spark Therapeutics?

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Spark Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ONCE) shares more than doubled to start the week after the company announced that it would be acquired. Swiss health care giant Roche is the big buyer looking to add to its portfolio.

As for the agreement, Roche will fully acquire Spark Therapeutics at $114.50 per share in an all-cash transaction. This corresponds to a total transaction value of roughly $4.3 billion.

Ultimately this price represents a premium of about 122% to Spark Therapeutics’ closing price on February 22, 2019, and a premium of approximately 19% to the 52-week high share price on July 9, 2018.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Roche will promptly commence a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Spark Therapeutics common stock, and Spark Therapeutics will file a recommendation statement containing the unanimous recommendation of its board that shareholders tender their shares to Roche.

The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of Spark Therapeutics and Roche.

Jeffrey D. Marrazzo, CEO of Spark Therapeutics, commented:

As the only biotechnology company that has successfully commercialised a gene therapy for a genetic disease in the US, we have built unmatched competencies in the discovery, development and delivery of genetic medicines. But the needs of patients and families living with genetic diseases are immediate and their needs vast. With its worldwide reach and extensive resources, Roche will help us accelerate the development of more gene therapies for more patients for more diseases and further expedite our vision of a world where no life is limited by genetic disease.

Shares of Spark Therapeutics were last seen up about 120% at $113.75 on Monday, in a 52-week range of $34.53 to $114.00. The stock has a consensus price target of $60.60.

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