Chiesi values Cornerstone Therapeutics at $255M in buyout deal

Italy's Chiesi Farmaceutici has finally closed on a deal to snap up the remaining 42% of Cornerstone Therapeutics' shares it doesn't already own--but surprised some speculators who had overbid the deal price. Chiesi flagged its interest for the first time back in February and closed at $9.50 a share, under the $9.74 the stock sold for at the end of last week.

The deal values Cornerstone ($CRTX) at $255 million. The biotech's stock was trading for $5.35 back in February, when Chiesi went public with its initial offer.

Cornerstone already sells drugs for respiratory ailments and heart conditions, a neat fit for the Italian company's portfolio aimed at a U.S. market. The deal now should close in the first quarter of 2014.

Cornerstone Therapeutics experienced a setback after it bought Cardiokine and its late-stage heart drug lixivaptan for a mere $1 million down plus $147 million in milestones. After getting shot down by a panel of outside FDA experts, the biotech reported last fall that the agency had formally rejected its application for a low-sodium therapy that was included in the buyout, demanding a new set of "clinical and non-clinical information" before it could reconsider an approval. 

"With the support of Chiesi, Cornerstone will help fulfill its mission to develop and commercialize innovative pharmaceutical solutions to improve the quality of human life," said Chiesi CEO Ugo Di Francesco. "We will continue to promote Cornerstone's market-leading respiratory products, as we establish a strong footprint in the special care market. We look forward to working closely with the Cornerstone management team and to welcoming its talented employees to the Chiesi family."

- here's the press release