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Hostile Takeover Heats Up

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Here’s the latest on perhaps the most dramatic battle on Wall Street this year. Ventana Medical Systems (VMSI) -- a company that helps doctors detect cancer – is currently fending off a $3-billion hostile takeover bid by pharmaceuticals giant Roche.

Ventana thinks Roche's bid is simply not high enough. Investors have liked this show of guts. Shares of Ventana have jumped since Roche made its offer in June. So what price would be right for Ventana?

Ventana Chief Executive Chris Gleeson joins the panel for this conversation. Here are excerpts from what was said.

How much money is at stake?

“Our growth is driven by the number of cancer cases and we have a unique position in that market," says Gleeson. "We have a highly profitable business that we feel can generate revue far in excess of the offer Roche has put on the table."

If they offered you a 100% premium on share price would you sell?

“I’m not going to say” replies Gleeson. “Clearly we’re saying that there’s growth… and our shareholders agree.”

But you are saying there’s a number at which you transact?

“Absolutely,” answers says Gleeson. “This is not about entrenchment. It’s about value to shareholders and that’s what we’re looking to achieve.”

Is it fair to say that number is approximately double the current offer?

“Again I’m not going to say what it is,” replies Gleeson.

Roche is a strategic buyer. Do you have any discussions lined up to talk about a valuation?

“No,” replies Gleeson. “Roche has had plenty of chances to talk with us. We’re in hostile at $75. We said it wasn’t a go. It’s a matter of getting to the right place to start talking. Whether it’s Roche or somebody else!”

Dylan Ratigan asks the traders what they think of Ventana Medical Systems?

Pete Najarian likes it.

Karen Finerman reminds the panel that Orcale is a VMSI shareholder and they’re looking for something north of $100 a share.


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Trader disclosure: On Sept. 12, 2007, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Macke Owns (HAS), Najarian Is Short (GS), Finerman's Firm Owns (DVA), (WMT), (COP), (JNJ); Finerman's Firm Owns S&P 500 Puts; Finerman's Firm Owns Russell 2000 Puts; NBC Universal Is The Parent Company Of CNBC