UPDATE 3-Roche to buy U.S. biotech firm InterMune for $8.3 bln

Sun Aug 24, 2014 4:15pm EDT
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* Deal boosts Roche's presence in respiratory medicine

* $74 per share cash offer represents 38 pct premium

* Roche sees transaction neutral for core EPS in 2015

* Consensus 2019 sales for InterMune lung drug $1.04 bln (Adds comments from Roche CEO, analyst)

By Ben Hirschler and Caroline Copley

LONDON/ZURICH, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Roche Holding AG has agreed to buy U.S. biotech company InterMune Inc for $8.3 billion in cash, marking the latest multibillion-dollar deal in a consolidating pharmaceutical sector.

The Swiss drugmaker said on Sunday it would pay $74.00 a share through a tender offer for InterMune, representing a premium of 38 percent to the closing price on Aug. 22.

The acquisition, which has been recommended by the boards of both companies, is the largest by Roche since 2009, when it bought out the remaining stake it did not already own in U.S. group Genentech for around $47 billion.

Chief Executive Severin Schwan said the deal would allow Roche to broaden and strengthen its respiratory portfolio, adding he believed there was a good strategic and cultural fit between Roche and the California-based biotech firm.   Continued...