Genentech headquarters in San Francisco, Calif.
Genentech headquarters in San Francisco, Calif. - 
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Bob Moon: Genentech is the largest maker of cancer treatments in the U.S. Almost half the biotech giant is controlled by the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche.

Now, Roche has decided it wants to control the whole company.

Marketplace's Stephen Beard has more from London

Stephen Beard: Roche is offering almost $48 billion for the outstanding minority stake in Genentech. If it goes ahead, this will be the biggest pharmaceutical deal for five years.

Some analysts say it looks like a smart move. With the dollar so weak, Roche will be gaining the rest of Genentech on the cheap. And Genentech is doing well. Its researchers have already provided Roche with their best-selling cancer therapies.

But Jeff Goldfarb of the financial website Breaking Views has his doubts about the deal.

Jeff Goldfarb: Genentech has really thrived at arms length even though it has been controlled by Roche, but taking 100 percent suggests there may be some structural changes that could change the way things operate and may not deliver the same benefits.

He also believes that Roche will have a fight on its hands: that the minority shareholders in Genentech will hold out for a much better price.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.