AstraZeneca to Acquire Omthera Pharma

AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN  ) will pay shareholders of Omthera Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: OMTH  ) $12.70 a share, valuing the drugmaker at approximately $323 million, in an acquisition deal announced today.

Less Omthera's existing cash and equivalents of $63 million, the enterprise value of the deal is approximately $260 million, according to AstraZeneca. However, if certain conditions are met, Omthera shareholders are in line for up to $120 million more.

Omthera has completed two phase 3 trials for Epanova, and reported success in lowering test subjects' high triglyceride and, in combination with a statin, HDL cholesterol levels. AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot commented, "The number of people with elevated triglyceride levels is rising rapidly across the world, due in part to the increasing prevalence of obesity and diabetes." Soriot added "This is an exciting acquisition that clearly complements our existing portfolio in cardiovascular and metabolic disease, one of our core therapy areas." The company expects a New Drug Application to be filed in the U.S. by mid-2013.

Omthera shareholders will receive contingent value rights (CVRs) up to an estimated $4.70 a share, for a total of $120 million, if certain milestones relating to Epanova are met. If the conditions for Epanova are reached, the total value of the acquisition would be an estimated $443 million.

The boards of directors of both AstraZeneca and Omthera have unanimously agreed to the deal, and assuming approval of Omthera shareholders and meeting customary regulatory conditions, the acquisition is expected to close the third quarter of 2013.

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