J&J offers $2.3B in bid for Crucell shares

Despite a recent snafu in Crucell's manufacturing division, Johnson & Johnson has formally stepped up to the table with an offer to buy out all the shares of the Dutch vaccine company for $2.3 billion, or €24.75-a-share.

J&J and Crucell unveiled their buyout plan last October as the Big Pharma company, which had already snared a 17.9 percent stake in the company, aggressively moved to create a significant vaccines division. The offer will be available from December 9 to the 16th with a minimum acceptance level staked at 80 percent.

Shortly after the deal was announced in October Crucell was forced to halt shipments from a manufacturing facility in South Korea due to sterility issues. Nevertheless, some of Crucell's investors have complained that J&J is paying less than what Crucell is worth. The offer represents a 58 percent premium over the €15.70 closing price of the ordinary shares on September 16, the day before J&J and Crucell announced they were in negotiations.

Analysts see the buyout as a big plus for J&J, which gets new vaccine technology and programs, while the Crucell organization can plug itself into J&J's drug development and marketing operations. J&J was lured by Crucell's considerable skills in vaccines. The two companies were partnered on developing new jabs, including a universal flu shot which is now the Holy Grail in vaccine development.

- check out the Crucell release
- here's the story from the Wall Street Journal