Novartis to buy Endocyte for $2.1 billion in cash

Oct 18 (Reuters) - Biopharmaceutical company Endocyte Inc said on Thursday that Novartis AG will acquire Endocyte in an all-cash deal for $24 per share, or a total equity value of about $2.1 billion.

The offer represents a premium of 54 percent to Endocyte's closing price of $15.56 on Oct. 17, Endocyte said.

The cancer drug maker expects the transaction to be completed in the first half of 2019, until which time Endocyte will continue to operate as a separate and independent company. (Reporting by Rishika Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)