Novartis buying Speedel for $880 million

Switzerland's Novartis has scooped up a majority of the shares of Speedel and plans to swiftly complete the purchase of all its stock in a deal valued at $880 million. At 130 francs per share, Novartis is paying a 94 percent premium. The two companies collaborated on the blood pressure drug Tekturna and Novartis plans to integrate Speedel's operation with its own, saving $30 million in the process. The deal is the latest in a string of acquisitions of biotech companies by big pharma companies looking to add new therapies to their pipelines.

Analysts noted that in the Tekturna deal, Novartis was likely on the hook for $700 million in royalty payments. While Speedel--a 2005 Fierce 15 company--has recently reported several development setbacks, Novartis also gains a pipeline of experimental therapies that includes new therapies for heart and metabolic diseases. Speedel has a mid-stage therapy in development for kidney disease in diabetics.

- here's the release on the deal
- check out the story from the Canadian Press