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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Takeover Lofts Roche Into Elite

BASEL, Switzerland -- The Swiss pharmaceuticals company Roche Holdings announced Monday it was taking over Germany's Boehringer-Mannheim concern and the American DePuy group for about $11 billion.


The announcement came one year after the surprise merger deal between Switzerland's other two drug giants, Ciba Geigy and Sandoz, into the world's largest pharmaceutical group -- Novartis.


Roche said the final price of the deal was still subject to negotiation. The takeover must be approved by regulatory authorities.


Roche said it had bought all the shares in the Bermuda-based holding company Corange on Saturday. Corange was the parent of diagnostics company Boehringer Mannheim. It had an 84.2 percent stake in DePuy, a Delaware-based company that is a leading U.S. producer of pharmaceutical products.


The combined group, called Roche Boehringer Mannheim Diagnostics, will be the world leader in products for the diagnosis and prevention of illnesses, with an annual sales potential of $3.5 billion and a work force of 13,500 people in the diagnostics sector, the company said.


Roche is regarded as one of the world's most innovative and profitable drug companies in a fragmented market.


The takeover should help quench the market's thirst for a big acquisition to propel Roche into the sales league of rival Novartis, the world's biggest pharmaceutical company.


Roche sales totaled 16 billion Swiss francs ($11.4 billion) last year, compared to the 36 billion franc turnover of Novartis. Its profits were 3.9 billion francs.