Page last updated at 06:05 GMT, Monday, 21 July 2008 07:05 UK

Roche makes $43.7bn Genentech bid

Tamiflu tablets
Sales of Tamiflu tablets have slowed

Swiss drugs firm Roche has offered to buy all outstanding shares in its US partner Genentech for $43.7bn(22bn).

Roche - which makes the antiviral drug Tamiflu - acquired a majority stake in Genentech in 1990 and currently owns 55.9% of all outstanding shares.

It has offered $89 per share to buy up the remaining stake, a 8.8% premium to Genentech's Friday closing share price.

Meanwhile Roche's first-half net profit fell 2% to 5.73bn Swiss francs ($5.59 bn; 2.8bn), slightly above forecasts

Group sales increased by 10% to 22bn Swiss francs, with the firm saying that double-digit growth of key products outweighed lower sales of Tamiflu.

Roche expects a high single-digit sales increase this year.

It also says that if Genentech shareholders approve Roche's approach then the move will deliver annual pre-tax savings of $750 to $850m.

Franz Humer, chairman of the board of Roche, said: "Combining the strengths of Roche and Genentech will create significant value and result in benefits for patients, employees and shareholders."

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