Roche nearing $5 billion deal to acquire Spark Therapeutics – WSJ


© Reuters. The logo of Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche is seen outside the Shanghai Roche Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. headquarters in Shanghai

(Reuters) – Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding (SIX:) AG is nearing a deal to acquire U.S. biotechnology company Spark Therapeutics Inc, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The deal for Spark could be announced Monday, if not sooner, at a price tag of nearly $5 billion (£3.8 billion), but could still fall through, the Journal said, citing the unidentified sources. Spark’s market value was just under $2 billion at Friday’s market close.

The newspaper reported there was at least one other unidentified bidder for Spark as of Friday.

Roche spokeswoman Simone Oeschger said on Saturday the company does not comment on market rumours or speculation. Spark officials could not be reached for comment by Reuters.

Spark is a gene therapy company with a pipeline of potential products targeting blindness, haemophilia and neurodegenerative diseases.

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