Shares in Zeneca sent 35p higher on Roche bid rumours
Saturday 12 April 1997
The bid rumour, the latest in a long series, emerged in a report in a Swiss newspaper which suggested that an offer worth pounds 21 to pounds 22 a share would be launched by Roche early next week. Cash, a weekly financial publication, claimed the two companies were in talks and the Basle-based Roche planned to sell off Zeneca's agrochemicals and specialty chemicals operations, keeping only the drugs business.
Neither company would comment yesterday. A representative for Roche said: "We've heard the rumours before and we didn't comment then and we are not commenting now."
The Swiss company has substantial cash resources and is thought to be interested in making acquisitions, but analysts played down the latest twist to what has become a long-running saga. James Dodwell, a pharmaceuticals watcher at Barclays de Zoete Wedd, said the two companies would fit together reasonably well. Roche had a lot of hospital products, while Zeneca's portfolio was strong in drugs targeted at GPs. Zeneca also had a strong franchise in cancer treatments, which Roche lacked, he suggested.
But he said: "Zeneca won't go freely. They want to remain independent and have said they are going to achieve 15 per cent per annum earnings growth for the next five years." Even for Roche, the possible $35bn price tag for the British group would be hard to digest, while the rating might be hard to justify.
The one piece of tangible good news yesterday for Zeneca, headed by chief executive Sir David Barnes, was that a US appeal court had upheld its patent rights over Nolvadex, still the most widely used treatment for breast cancer nearly quarter of a century after its launch. The appeal to the Federal court followed a challenge by Novopharm, a Canadian maker of generic drugs, which had been thrown out by a lower court in Maryland last April. Zeneca said the decision disposed of the proceedings instituted by Novopharm, which had wanted to produce a generic form of the drug.
The decision helps protect Zeneca's US patent until its expiry in 2002, although the company said it would continue patent infringement proceedings against two other companies, Mylan Pharmaceuticals and Pharmachemie, which have submitted applications for generic forms of the drug with America's Food and Drug Administration.
- 1 Windows 10: man updates PC, wakes up to find porn slideshow on repeat
- 2 The 'world's most beautiful vagina' has been debunked by science
- 3 John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
- 4 Bulletproof armadillo puts Texas man in hospital after shot bounces off hard shell
- 5 Doctors declare war on Jeremy Hunt over weekend working 'myths' amid plan for seven day NHS
Osama bin Laden's family members killed in plane crash at Hampshire's Blackbushe Airport
Whoopi Goldberg tells Cara Delevingne to suck it up: 'She's not famous. I'M famous'
John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
'Rowdy' Roddy Piper dies: Wrestling legend dies aged 61, according to reports
Great white shark thwarts man's attempt to become first person to swim from Golden Gate Bridge to Farallon Islands
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£13000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about custom...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Main purpose: Under the directi...
£35000 - £37000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Contracts Manager - City...