AstraZeneca Acquires Omthera Pharmaceuticals for Up to $443 Million
LONDON -- The shares of AstraZeneca added 50 pence to 3,479 pence during early London trading this morning after the company announced the purchase of Omthera Pharmaceuticals .
The FTSE 100 member said it would acquire Omthera for $12.70 per share, some 88% above Friday's closing price and valuing the New Jersey-based firm at $323 million. AstraZeneca will also pay up to a further $4.70 per share based on Omthera's future performance.
The total potential acquisition cost could therefore be $443 million.
Founded in 2008, Omthera listed on Nasdaq just last month at $8 a share. The group employs 14 people and is developing a fish-oil capsule branded Epanova to treat high levels of triglyceride and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca's chief executive, said:
The number of people with elevated triglyceride levels is rising rapidly across the world, due in part to the increasing prevalence of obesity and diabetes.
This is an exciting acquisition that clearly complements our existing portfolio in cardiovascular and metabolic disease, one of our core therapy areas.
Gerald Wisler, Omthera's chief execuitive, added:
We believe strongly that AstraZeneca can maximize the value of Epanova not only as a monotherapy treatment for dyslipidemia but also as a treatment for cardiovascular disease in combination with Crestor.
Last year, AstraZeneca spent more than $1 billion on acquisitions in an effort to revive the group's progress. Final results issued in January showed underlying revenues down 15% and warned of a further 5-10% drop for 2013.
However, a $2.80 -- or 185 pence -- per share dividend declared for 2012 currently supports a 5.3% yield.
Of course, whether that high income, this morning's acquisition news, as well as the wider prospects of the pharmaceutical industry, all combine to make AstraZeneca a buy is something only you can decide.
However, if you already own AstraZeneca shares and are looking for another juicy income buying opportunity, this exclusive wealth report reviews five particularly attractive possibilities.
Indeed, all five opportunities offer a rich mix of robust prospects, illustrious histories and dependable dividends, and have just been declared by the Fool as "5 Shares You Can Retire On"!
Just click here for your report -- it's free.
The article AstraZeneca Acquires Omthera Pharmaceuticals for Up to $443 Million originally appeared on Fool.com.Maynard Paton has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.