Roche: No worries about deal financing

Roche says the strangled credit markets won't hamper its financing for a $43.7 billion takeover of Genentech. Other companies haven't been so lucky; mining firm Xstrata bailed out of a deal with Lonmin yesterday, for instance. So bankers are watching the Roche-Genentech deal as a sort of barometer for the M&A market, the Wall Street Journal reports.

A Roche spokesman maintains the company's confidence in its ability "to raise the required financing," echoing assurances Roche CEO Severin Schwan gave the markets a couple of weeks ago. The spokesman wouldn't say whether Roche plans to hike its $89-a-share bid; Genentech, as you know, has said the offer "undervalues" the company. Meanwhile, as Reuters notes, the strengthening dollar has made Roche's current bid more expensive in Swiss franc terms.

Sources tell the WSJ that Roche has contacted a number of banks about financing the deal. No word yet on their responses. Stay tuned.

- read the article in the WSJ