Spark Therapeutics Enters into Definitive Merger Agreement with Roche
Spark Therapeutics, a commercial gene therapy company, has entered into a definitive merger agreement for Roche to fully acquire Spark Therapeutics at a price of $114.50 per share in an all-cash transaction. This corresponds to a total equity value of approximately $4.8 billion on a fully diluted basis, inclusive of approximately $500 million of projected net cash expected at close. The per share price represents a premium of 122 percent to Spark’s closing price on Feb. 22, 2019. The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of both Spark and Roche.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, Roche will promptly commence a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Spark’s common stock, and Spark will file a recommendation statement containing the unanimous recommendation of the Spark board that Spark shareholders tender their shares to Roche.
“As the only biotechnology company that has successfully commercialized a gene therapy for a genetic disease in the U.S., we have built unmatched competencies in the discovery, development and delivery of genetic medicines. But the needs of patients and families living with genetic diseases are immediate and vast,” said Jeffrey D. Marrazzo, chief executive officer of Spark Therapeutics. “With its worldwide reach and extensive resources, Roche will help us accelerate the development of more gene therapies for more patients for more diseases and further expedite our vision of a world where no life is limited by genetic disease.”
“Spark Therapeutics’ proven expertise in the entire gene therapy value chain may offer important new opportunities for the treatment of serious diseases,” said Severin Schwan, chief executive officer of Roche. “In particular, Spark’s hemophilia A program could become a new therapeutic option for people living with this disease. We are also excited to continue the investments in Spark’s broad product portfolio and commitment to Philadelphia as a center of excellence.”
Spark Therapeutics will continue its operations in Philadelphia as an independent company within the Roche Group.
Terms of the Agreement
Under the terms of the merger agreement, Roche will promptly commence a tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Spark Therapeutics’ common stock at a price of $114.50 per share in cash. The closing of the tender offer will be subject to a majority of Spark Therapeutics’ outstanding shares being tendered. In addition, the transaction is subject to the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 and other customary conditions.
Following completion of the tender offer, Roche will acquire all remaining shares at the same price of $114.50 per share through a second step merger. The closing of the transaction is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2019.
Centerview Partners is acting as financial advisor to Spark Therapeutics and Goodwin Procter LLP is acting as legal counsel to Spark Therapeutics. Cowen also acted as a financial advisor in this transaction to Spark Therapeutics. Citi is acting as financial advisor to Roche and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is acting as legal counsel to Roche.
Source: Press release