Johnson & Johnson has reached a deal to buy Momenta Pharmaceuticals for $52.50 per share or $6.5 billion in an all cash deal, the companies said.
The valuation represents a 70% premium to Momenta’s closing price on August 18, 2020. The company’s stock price jumped more than 69% in premarket trading Wednesday. As of yesterday, Momenta’s stock was up 56.2% year to date.
The deal will give J&J’s Janssen unit access to nipocalimab, an experimental therapy Momenta is developing to treat autoimmune diseases. Nipocalimab is being tested as a treatment for myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disease.
“Programs such as nipocalimab have the potential to improve the lives of countless patients suffering from autoimmune and fetal maternal diseases,” Momenta chief executive officer Craig Wheeler said in a statement. “This acquisition provides strong value for our shareholders and ensures a level of investment in our exciting portfolio that will further enhance its potential for patients.”
J&J also reiterated its 2020 adjusted earnings per share forecast.
“We find the deal modestly surprising as we see every one of Momenta’s assets as somewhat tricky to develop,” BTIG analyst Thomas Shrader said. Shrader said it was hard to imagine a higher bid for the company.
“Janssen will have the potential to introduce multiple launches, many as first-in-class indications with potential for significant peak year sales, some of which could exceed $1 billion,” Johnson & Johnson said in a statement.
The deal comes days after a similar move by Sanofi. On Monday, the French drugmaker announced it had reached an agreement to buy Principia Biopharma for $3.6 billion, or $100 per share, in a bid to bolster its own portfolio of autoimmune therapies.
The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2020.
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