The roughly $100 a share Merck would pay for Lexington, Mass.-based Cubist in the proposed deal values the company at about $7.5 billion, The New York Times DealBook reported, citing people briefed on the matter. A deal could be announced as early as next week.
The deal is the latest multibillion-dollar health care transaction in a year of big mergers and acquisitions in the industry. It would also fit into the strategy by Merck's chief executive, Kenneth C. Frazier, of buying successful midsize drug makers that complement his company's existing stable of drugs, DealBook noted.
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Cubist makes drugs that treat superbugs and products that address "significant unmet medical needs," like diseases that could cause pandemics in the developing world.
Shares of Cubist closed Friday at $74.52, approaching the 52 week high of $82.12 reached in February. Shares of Merck closed Friday at $60.92, also near a 52-week high.