US: FTC delays Roche’s Spark takeover, again

Just days after Roche CEO Severin Schwan said the $4.8 billion buyout of Spark Therapeutics will close by June despite a recent delay, the company has been forced to push its tender offer off even further.

A Federal Trade Commission review is taking longer than expected, Roche said. To allow the US antitrust agency more time, the company decided to withdraw and refile its premerger notification and report form, Roche said Friday.

Despite the second delay in just a few weeks, Roche still maintains that the deal “will be completed according to our guidance in the first half of 2019,” a company spokesperson told FiercePharma in an email statement Friday.

The extension and shortfall in tendered shares are “not unusual” with a deal of this type, and “a significant portion of shareholders customarily tender their shares during the last day of the tender offer period,” the spokesperson said.

“Until the end of the offer period, shareholders have the right to tender their shares, withdraw and re-tender them. Therefore, we do not view the level of tendered shares at this time as in any way indicative of shareholder support for the transaction,” the spokesperson added.

Full Content: Fierce Pharma

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