Spark Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ONCE) closed Tuesday’s trading session at $113.90, but the price seems to have declined slightly after it announced a definitive merger deal with Roche.
The company announced on February 25, revealing that the definitive agreement will allow Roche to take complete ownership of Spark Therapeutics. Roche will acquire Spark’s stake at $114.50 per share as per their agreement, and the transaction will be all-cash. This aligns with the company’s total equity value estimated at roughly $4.8 billion (fully diluted basis). This includes an estimated $500 million net cash that is expected towards the deal close.
The $114.50 per share price agreed upon is a 122% premium on the company’s closing price on February 22. Also worth noting is that the boards of directors of the two firms unanimously approved the merger agreement. The terms of the deal indicate that Roche will quickly launch a tender offer to purchase all of Spark’s outstanding shares (common stock) swiftly.
“Spark Therapeutics’ proven expertise in the entire gene therapy value chain may offer important new opportunities for the treatment of serious diseases,” stated Roche CEO, Severin Schwan.
Roche and Spark to focus more resources on fighting genetic diseases
Schwan pointed out that the hemophilia A program developed by Spark might soon become a new treatment option for people suffering from the disease. The CEO also noted that his company would continue to invest in Spark’s vast product portfolio. Meanwhile, Spark Therapeutics CEO Jeffrey D. Marrazzo stated that his company is currently unmatched when it comes to the discovery, creation, and also marketing genetic therapies. However, the company prioritizes the needs of patients suffering from genetic diseases.
Marrazzo also noted that Spark would benefit from the acquisition because Roche already has extensive resources all over the world. These resources will help Spark to bring more gene therapies to the market at a faster pace to address more diseases. This will also help the company to get closer to the goal of a future where genetic illnesses become a thing of the past. Meanwhile, Sparks will continue to run its Philadelphia operations as an independent firm while part of Roche Group.