Investors concerned over price as Roche seeks financing for Alexion Pharma bid

City A.M. Reporter
BUYING Alexion Pharmaceuticals would help Roche make a splash in the newly lucrative area of rare or so-called orphan diseases, but it could command a price that the Swiss drugmaker is ultimately not willing to pay.

Two people familiar with the matter said that the Basel-based firm is seeking financing for a potential bid for Alexion, which specialises in the treatment of rare diseases.

A bid for Alexion would mark an attempt by Roche to diversify beyond its core cancer competencies through acquisitions, following a string of failures from its own research operations for drugs to treat cardio metabolic diseases.

But some investors in an impromptu survey by analyst Mark Schoenebaum of ISI group were concerned about the likely valuation.

“Quite frankly, I don’t like this deal. It risks being overpriced. Most of the US is in a bubble,” said Helvea analyst Olav Zilian.

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