US drug maker Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ALXN) has appointed Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) to advise it on a potential takeover bid from Swiss peer Roche Holding Ltd (VTX:ROG), Bloomberg reported today, citing knowledgeable sources.
Alexion, which reportedly rejected Roche’s informal approach last week, will use Goldman’s services if it receives an attractive bid or if it tries to ward off a hostile attempt, the people said. Based on its stock price of USD117.08 (EUR88.31) on Tuesday, the US firm is valued at nearly USD23bn, Bloomberg said.
One of the sources noted that the Swiss suitor was interested in Alexion’s Soliris medication for the treatment of two rare blood diseases. The drug generated sales of some USD1.1bn in 2012. According to another person, Alexion is unwilling to sell as it seeks to further develop Soliris and other drugs.
Irving Adler, a spokesman for Alexion, told the agency that the takeover approach from Roche was a speculation. Michael Duvally, a spokesman for Goldman Sachs, and Daniel Grotzky, a spokesman for Roche, did not wish to comment.
Earlier this month Reuters reported, quoting sources, that Roche was trying to secure funding for a potential takeover of Alexion.