Analysts continue to pour cold water on hot Alexion buyout rumors

If Roche does actually pull the trigger on a rumored bid for Alexion, you can expect analysts to react with some scathing assessments.

Roche CEO Severin Schwan

Over the weekend, Roche ($RHHBY) shares were buoyed after CEO Severin Schwan provided this unassailable assessment of the pharma giant's takeover strategy: "We look at acquisitions not only from a strategic standpoint. It must also be a cultural fit and be worth it financially," Schwan said, according to a report from NZZ am Sonntag.

That last remark about financial value seems to some analysts to bear--at least slightly--on whether Roche will actually make an offer on Alexion ($ALXN), which today has a market value of $21.4 billion. While the biotech company has experienced blockbuster success with its rare disease drug Soliris and has a promising pipeline, a long lineup of analysts has already dissed the idea as wildly overpriced for Roche.

Reuters reports that analysts at Notenstein already doubt that a bid could be forthcoming, if you consider that Roche had the financial discipline to pass on Illumina ($ILMN).

"You can presumably expect that this will be no different with Alexion," the analysts write. "Should the rumors turn out to be just 'summer theater,' this should be welcomed by investors who have been somewhat unsettled."

Should the rumors repeatedly reported by Reuters and Bloomberg turn out to be a prelude to an offer, though, Roche will have to defend its rep for stern Swiss thrift.

- here's the story from Reuters