Roche buys up the rest of Genentech

Roche and Genentech buildings

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche is buying up the rest of the shares
in California-based Genentech. Roche already owns 55 percent of the biotech firm. From the European Desk in London,
Stephen Beard has the story.


Stephen Beard: At $47 billion, this is the biggest corporate deal in Swiss history. It brings to an end a long struggle between Roche -- famous for making Valium -- and the California-based Genentech.

The combined group will be the seventh-largest drugs company in the U.S. Pharmaceutical deals are coming thick and fast. This is the third big takeover so far this year.

Jeff Goldfarb is with the financial Web site Breaking Views. He says this is one more sign of an industry under pressure:

Jeff Goldfarb: Some of the pharmaceutical companies have drugs with patents getting ready to expire. So what they're doing is they're buying companies like Genentech that are sort of pure research houses and developing new drugs and new ways to use those drugs.

The deal announced today will give Roche total control over Genentech's new cancer drugs, including Avastin. It should also allow the combined group to cut costs by $800 million a year.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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