NEW YORK (The Deal) -- Switzerland's Roche Holding on Sunday extended a summer of dealmaking with an agreement to buy InterMune (ITMN) for $8.3 billion to expand its treatments for respiratory ailments.
Roche, of Basel, would pay $74 per InterMune share, a 38% bonus to the target's Friday close. The price is also a 64% bump to the stock's close Aug. 12, the day before rumors of a strategic review at the target surfaced.
Acquisitive Roche is hoping to cash in on the pending U.S. approval of InterMune's pirfenidone treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or IPF. Patients with IPF gradually lose the ability to breath as fibers fill up their lungs.
"We look forward to welcoming InterMune employees into the Roche Group and to making a difference for patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a devastating disease," said Roche CEO Severin Schwan in a statement.
InterMune's new drug has already won approval in the European Union and Canada, where it is marketed under the name Esbriet. The IPF treatment has also already been acknowledged as a "breakthrough therapy" by the FDA and is expected to be cleared for use on Nov. 23, according to Roche.
Schwan has been busy snapping up rivals this summer though he generally focuses on cancer fighters - Roche is the world's biggest oncology company.
In just the past two months, Roche itself has agreed to buy former Aragon Pharmaceuticals unit Seragon Pharmaceuticals, of San Diego, for as much as $1.73 billion and Copenhagen-based Santaris Pharma for as much as $425 million. Seragon is developing a new breast cancer treatment, and Santaris is developing technology to target mutations in RNA, also to battle cancer.
The company was also reportedly interested in taking Japanese unit Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. private by buying up the 38% it doesn't already own for ¥810 million ($7.8 billion). Chugai denied the reports and Roche was silent but analysts said a deal could make sense.
Brisbane, Calif.-based InterMune saw sales more than double in the second quarter to $35.7 million from $14.4 million in the second quarter of 2013, including $30.3 million in revene from Esbriet. Its net loss widened to $71.2 million from $62.9 million as it spent more on research to win market approval for the IPF treatment.
Chris Hite is leading a team from Citigroup (C) acting as financial advisers to Roche while Davis Polk & Wardwell's Arthur Golden, Marc Williams and Ronan Harty gave legal counsel.
InterMune turned to Alan Hartman and Mark Robinson of Centerview Partners and Jack Levy, David Woodhouse, Jim Katzman and Bartosz Ostenda of Goldman Sachs (GS) for financial advice with legal advice from Cravath Swaine & Moore's Faiza Saeed, Ting Chen and Christine Varney. Sullivan & Cromwell's Frank Aquila, Brian Hamilton and Krishna Veeraraghava counseled Centerview.