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Roche to pay US$2.4b for rest of genome firm FMI

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SWISS drugmaker Roche Holding AG has agreed to pay US$137 per share to buy the rest of Foundation Medicine Inc (FMI), a US$2.4 billion transaction that values the US genomic profiling group at US$5.3 billion, the partners said on Tuesday.

The deal, backed by the boards of both companies, is set to close in the second half of this year, they said in a statement.

The offer price represented a premium of 29 per cent to FMI's closing price on Monday. FMI closed at US$106.45, up 4.4 per cent.

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Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, FMI is a molecular information company specialised in cancer care. It offers comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) assays to identify molecular alterations in a patient's cancer and match them with targeted therapies, immunotherapies and clinical trials.

"This is important to our personalised healthcare strategy as we believe molecular insights and the broad availability of high quality comprehensive genomic profiling are key enablers for the development of, and access to, new cancer treatments," Roche pharmaceuticals head Daniel O'Day said.

"We will preserve FMI's auto-nomy while supporting them in accelerating their progress."

Citi is acting as financial advisers to Roche, and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is legal counsel to Roche.

Goldman Sachs & Co is financial adviser to the FMI Special Committee and Goodwin Procter LLP is legal counsel. REUTERS