BioMarin up 10% on latest Roche takeout rumor

Roche HQ

BioMarin ($BMRN) has long been rumored to be a takeout candidate. Roche ($RHHBY), in particular, has before been highlighted as a potential suitor for it. Now, that rumor has popped up again--sending the biotech’s shares climbing fast with it.

In early trading on July 7, BioMarin shares climbed more than 10% on the acquisition speculation to give it a market cap of more than $14.5 billion--but then investor enthusiasm faded a bit again.

The roughly $87 share price is far off highs from a year ago when it hovered above $150. Any potential deal would still, obviously, likely still be dwarfed by the 2009 purchase of Genentech by Roche for $47 billion.

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The rumor traces back to a post on investment blog Betaville by a former Daily Telegraph reporter who claims to have broken the same story three years ago, which never came to fruition then.

The post cites “two sources familiar with the matter” that Roche is in the midst of analyzing a BioMarin buy, led by its head of M&A Boris Zaitra. A formal offer doesn’t seem to be on the table. In fact, one source said that potential proposal was put on hold in the wake of the repercussions of the Brexit vote.

Credit Suisse is said to be the bank that’s already working with Roche on the deal, according to the blog.

The report also names Sanofi ($SNY) as a potential competitor with Roche for a BioMarin acquisition--as a potential back-up in lieu of a deal with Medivation ($MDVN). But a well-placed source has told FierceBiotech that Sanofi is exclusively focused on Medivation and not, in fact, looking to pursue BioMarin.

Earlier this week, Sanofi still seemed firmly in pursuit of a Medivation deal, upping its offer even as the biotech opened up its books up to other undisclosed suitors--which reportedly include Pfizer ($PFE) and Celgene ($CELG).

BioMarin shares are well above its 52-week low of about $62. And it’s still traded down about 17% so far this year.

- here's the blog post

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