Roche nabs the $3.4B Ventana prize

Don't play cards with Ventana CEO Christopher Gleeson (photo). He might poker-face you into sweetening the pot, just as he finally has with Roche. Yes, after months of fairly believable bluffing, the Swiss drug maker boosted its bid for Ventana to $89.50 a share, or $3.4 billion. Both companies' boards approved the deal, and Ventana's will recommend it to its shareholders.

Initially, Roche had offered $75 a share for the diagnostics firm. The new offer represents a 4.9 percent premium over Ventana's current stock price, but 72.3 percent more than the stock's value before Roche made its first offer last June.

Though the deal is cheap by no means, it would help Roche forge ahead into the brave new world of personalized medicine. Ventana's portfolio of cancer diagnostics would be a foundation for highly targeted new therapies--and offer better aim for existing ones.

- see this release
- read the story from the Houston Chronicle
- here's a Forbes article for more

ALSO: Like so many other pharmaceutical industry giants, Roche has announced plans to increase its stake in biotech, pledging to invest $430 million Swiss francs ($387 million) in three sites in Switzerland and Germany. Report