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) --

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Free Report

is in advanced talks to buy



, the Dutch biotech company.

J&J, which already owns 17.9% of Crucell, would acquire the rest of Crucell for €1.75 billion ($2.3 billion), or €24.75 a share, in cash.

Crucell closed Thursday at €15.70, making the intended offer a 58% premium.

Crucell is a maker of vaccines and sells a line of cells widely used as a platform for developing vaccines.

The boards of J&J and Crucell have authorized the companies to proceed with the talks for a potential transaction.

The companies expect that Crucell's strength in the manufacturing, discovery and commercialization of vaccines would create a strong platform for J&J in vaccines, the companies said in a statement Friday.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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Joseph Woelfel

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