Despite holdouts, Roche has Ventana

roche building

It's in the bag. Roche has officially acquired 70.5 percent of Ventana's shares, enough to wrap up the acquisition. But Roche has extended its $3.4 billion tender offer to February 15 in an attempt to grab more shares, because if it can boost that percentage above 90, the closing will be easier to manage. Last month, Roche upped its offer to $89.50 per share from $75.

Among the holdouts are Ventana Chairman Jack Schuler and Vice Chairman John Patience--who together own 11 percent of the shares--as well as investor Larry Feinberg, an investor with 7.81 percent who's a longtime backer of the two men. Feinberg told the Financial Times that the board members wanted $95 per share, but might settle for $93. "My sense is probably there is a good chance that this goes a little higher," Feinberg said.

Roche, however, says it's sticking to the same cash price as the other shareholders got, and whatever shares aren't tendered will be converted to cash rights. In case that wasn't clear, Roche states that the company "has sufficient voting power to approve the merger without the affirmative vote of any other Ventana shareholder." Touché.

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