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June 9, 2014

Merck to acquire Idenix Pharmaceuticals for $3.8bn

Merck has reached a definitive agreement worth $3.85bn to acquire Idenix Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical firm specialising in the discovery and development of drugs for treating human viral diseases.

By Mekala ShivaramPrasad

Merck has reached a definitive agreement worth $3.85bn to acquire Idenix Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical firm specialising in the discovery and development of drugs for treating human viral diseases.

Under the agreement’s terms, Merck will begin a tender offer through a subsidiary to acquire all outstanding shares of Idenix Pharmaceuticals for $24.50 per share in cash.

Following completion of the tender offer, which will be subject to customary conditions, Merck will purchase all remaining shares of Idenix Pharmaceuticals through a second-step merger.

"Merck stated that its portfolio of investigational therapies for hepatitis C will be expanded through its acquisition of Idenix Pharmaceuticals."

The boards of directors of both companies have approved the transaction, which the companies expect to be close in the third quarter of 2014.

Merck stated that its portfolio of investigational therapies for hepatitis C will be expanded through its acquisition of Idenix Pharmaceuticals.

Merck Research Laboratories president Dr Roger Perlmutter said: "Idenix’s investigational hepatitis C candidates complement our promising therapies in development and will help advance our work to develop a highly effective, once-daily, all oral, ribavirin-free, pan-genotypic regimen that has a duration of treatment as short as possible for millions of patients in need around the world."

For Merck, Credit Suisse served as financial advisor and Hughes Hubbard & Reed as its legal advisor. For Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Centerview Partners served as financial advisor and Sullivan & Cromwell as its legal advisor.

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