Crucell investor agitates for more from J&J

A key Crucell shareholder is revolting against Johnson & Johnson's buyout bid. Van Herk Groep, which owns 10 percent of Crucell, is urging the company's board to revoke its support for J&J's current €24.75 a share offer, which amounts to €1.75 billion ($2.43 billion).

"J&J submits a bid for our very own Crucell, at a price that might seem attractive, but is not," the firm says in a statement. "We have calculated a standalone value of €27.50 a share. This is what the company is worth and we will tender our shares when this is offered." 

Van Herk plans to demand a shareholder meeting to discuss the bid--or, as its statement suggests, to stir up opposition to it. And as the WSJ notes, the firm may not have trouble recruiting other holdouts. Some of Crucell's other shareholders have also said that the company is worth more than what J&J has agreed to pay.

Just how much of an obstacle is Van Herk? J&J said earlier this week that if it acquires 95 percent of Crucell's shares, it will squeeze out the remaining shareholders. Without Van Herk's 10 percent, J&J couldn't hit the 95 percent threshold.

- get the Van Herk Groep statement
- read the WSJ piece