Johnson & Johnson acquires Omrix Biopharmaceuticals

The US giant will pay $465 million for the Israeli company, which develops biosurgical sealants.

Sources inform ''Globes'' that Johnson & Johnson Inc. (NYSE: JNJ) has acquired Israeli biopharmaceutical company Omrix Biopharmaceuticals Ltd. (Nasdaq:OMRI), bringing to an end eight years of partnership between the two companies and several months of acrimonious negotiations and endless rumors. Johnson & Johnson will reportedly pay $27 a share for Omrix, which develops and produces biosurgical sealants for the prevention of homeostasis in surgery, giving it a value of $465 million.

The rumors of an imminent sale broke at the end of last week, after a team from Ethicon Inc. the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary partnering with Omrix arrived in Israel and began a thorough review of the company. The rumors sent Omrix's share price up almost 30% on Friday to $21.20 in trading on Nasdaq.

As first reported by "Globes", Johnson & Johnson has been in talks on the acquisition of Omrix for a number of months, following an eight-year partnership between the two during which the idea of a sale was repeatedly broached.

The atmosphere of the talks has been highly charged in recent months, with Omrix founder president and CEO Robert Taub initiating talks with other potential suitors in a bid to up the company's price. Among the companies approached were German drug giant Bayer AG (LSE: BYR; XETRA: BAY), and Ofer Group, but these talks apparently did not progress to a concrete offer and did not pose a real threat to the deal with Johnson & Johnson.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on November 23, 2008

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2008

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