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Home Industry News Novartis declines to comment on Serono bid

Novartis declines to comment on Serono bid

28th December 2005

Newspaper reports that pharmaceutical firm Novartis is to make a takeover bid for biotechnology firm Serono have not been commented on by the company.

Switzerland’s SonntagsZeitung newspaper reported at the weekend that Novartis would offer 1,050 Swiss francs a share to public holders of Serono stock.

Under Swiss takeover law it is acceptable to make a higher offer to the holder of a majority of a company’s shares and therefore chief executive and chairman Ernesto Bertarelli and his family, who own around 64 per cent of the company, would be offered 1,200 Swiss francs a share.

Serono, the world’s third-largest biotech group by sales and currently valued at $11 billion, hired Goldman Sachs in November to look at “strategic alternatives” for the company.

It is thought that the company could be sold for as much as $15 billion and Novartis, Roche, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi-Aventis, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer have all submitted indications of interest in order to get access to the company’s books.

Serono’s main area of sales is in multiple sclerosis and fertility treatments with the multiple sclerosis drug Rebif accounting for around half of its revenues.

track© Adfero Ltd

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