Roche to buy majority stake in Foundation Medicine

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Swiss drug maker Roche Holding plans to acquire a majority stake in U.S.-based molecular and genomic analysis firm Foundation Medicine by buying a combination of outstanding and newly issued shares, the companies said on Monday.

Roche said it will tender for around 15.6 million Foundation shares at $50 a share, worth up to about $780 million, a premium of 109 percent to their Friday closing price. Roche will also invest $250 million in Foundation by acquiring 5 million newly issued shares at $50 per share.

The transactions will result in Roche owning between 52.4 percent and 56.3 percent of Foundation, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Roche will obtain minority representation on the board of Foundation, which will retain its current management team.

The initial focus of the collaboration will be on developing genomic profile tests for cancer immunotherapies and for continuous blood-based monitoring. The companies said the deal includes the potential for more than $150 million in additional funding by Roche.