Chiron Shareholders Approve Acquisition
Shareholders of California-based Chiron on Wednesday approved a $5.4 billion acquisition offer from Switzerland-based Novartis, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Under the offer, Novartis, which currently holds 44% of Chiron common shares, will pay $48 per share to acquire the remainder (Tansey, San Francisco Chronicle, 4/20).
Novartis in October 2005 offered to acquire Chiron for $5.1 billion, or $45 per share, but earlier this month increased the offer to $5.4 billion after some Chiron shareholders opposed the initial offer (American Health Line, 4/4).
The acquisition likely will close on Thursday.
Novartis officials said that they plan to expand Chiron production capacity and might build new manufacturing facilities with updated technologies to speed production cycles and reduce risk of product contamination (Wall Street Journal, 4/20).
Novartis CEO Daniel Vasella said, "With the close of this transaction, Novartis will gain access to attractive strategic growth platforms in the dynamic vaccines market and the rapidly expanding diagnostics business" (San Francisco Chronicle, 4/20).