Wary J&J says it may be forced to renegotiate Crucell buyout

J&J has made it crystal clear that it still wants to complete its planned buyout of the Dutch biotech Crucell. But despite its hunger to build a major vaccine initiative on the foundation of the biotech's work in the field, trouble at a Korean manufacturing facility forced the pharma giant to tell investors that there's still a chance it might have to try and rework the numbers.

Just weeks ago Crucell was forced to relinquish its full-year financial targets after sterility issues forced it to suspend shipments of two vaccines from a Korean plant. J&J says that setback hasn't derailed its $2.3 billion deal for Crucell, but any new nasty surprises could tip the scales against completing the buyout on the same terms.

In a release, J&J announced that "while the immediate financial impact of the Korea manufacturing issues to Crucell, as described in Crucell's financial results for the third quarter of 2010, would not alone constitute a material adverse effect, all effects relating to the Korea manufacturing issues, including those related to the period prior to commencement of the offer, may be taken into account, but only in combination with further developments that may arise or become known to Johnson & Johnson after the commencement of the offer as a result of, and/or in connection with, the Korea manufacturing issues."

Crucell says that regular shipments from the Shingal plant should resume in February.

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