Roche said Friday that it is extending its offer period related to the proposed acquisition of Spark Therapeutics for a second time to give the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) more time to review the deal, according to FirstWord. Roche noted that the FTC’s “review of the transaction is ongoing, and the parties are actively working with the government to facilitate that process.”
According to Roche, the offer period is being extended until June 3, having previously been scheduled to expire on May 2, following an extension made at the start of the month. The Swiss drugmaker indicated that all terms and conditions of the offer remain unchanged, adding that as of April 25, only 26.1 percent of Spark’s outstanding shares had been validly tendered, down from a previous level of 29.4 percent.
The delay comes amid a number of lawsuits filed by Spark shareholders seeking to block the deal on the grounds that it undervalues the drugmaker and that it is unfair to investors. According to previously released documents, several companies expressed interest in a takeover of Spark prior to its agreement to be purchased by Roche.
Despite the extensions, Roche CEO Severin Schwan reaffirmed alongside its first-quarter financial results last week that the company believes that the transaction will close in the first half of the year. For related analysis, read ViewPoints: Roche pivots into gene therapy.