Surprise, surprise. Genentech's (NYSE:DNA) Special Committee of its Board of Directors recommended that investors reject Roche's most recent tender offer. Was anyone expecting anything else?

Here's a quick review of the soap opera that's taken place over the last seven months.



Stock Movement

July 21, 2008

Roche offers $89 per share.

Shares jump to more than $93.

August 13, 2008

Genentech rejects the offer, but it's willing to negotiate.

Shares have moved to $98 and stay there through August.

August 2008 - December 2008

Nothing -- not a good thing for investors in M&A deals.

Shares slide as low as $70 on worries that Roche won't be able to get financing. Note to Roche: Next time, set up your financing ahead of time like Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) did with its acquisition of Wyeth.

January 30, 2009

Roche plays hardball with a $86.50-per-share tender offer to shareholders.

Shareholders still don't think it'll get done, as shares hover around $82.

February 9, 2009

Roche launches tender offer and claims Genentech wants $112 per share.

Genentech driving a hard bargain doesn't impress shareholders, and the stock still trades for far less than $86.

Genentech is like a rebellious teen that Roche should have never let out of its grasp in the first place.

What's next?
I think it's likely that Genetech will wed Roche's first wife, who also happens to be Genentech's sister-in-law.

In all seriousness, I have no idea when the soap opera will end. It seems unlikely that investors will turn over their shares for $86.50, if the company they're invested in thinks the shares are worth more than $100. But then again, that would still be a premium on what investors could get in the open market right now.

It's hard for Genentech to prove its worth with only one bidder; at least Carl Icahn could bust out Eli Lilly's (NYSE:LLY) bid for ImClone to tell Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) to take a hike. With Roche being a majority owner of Genentech, the biotech isn't in nearly as good a position.

It seems like this potential merger could drag on as long as the Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) merger or BHP Billiton’s (NYSE:BHP) pursuit of Rio Tinto (NYSE:RTP). However, there's some precedent for getting this deal done. Roche eventually sat down at the table and upped its bid for Ventana Medical Systems after investors rejected its lowball tender offer.

The same outcome seems likely here. The only question is whether Genentech's teen angst will keep the drugmakers from coming to a deal between $86.50 and $112.

Pull up a chair -- here's more Foolishness on never-ending sagas:

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Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. Pfizer is a former Income Investor selection and current Inside Value pick. The Fool's disclosure policy was just seen commiserating with an SEC document down the hall.