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MSD to acquire Inspire Pharmaceuticals

MSD (Merck in the US and Canada) has entered into a deal worth $430m to acquire Inspire Pharmaceuticals, a speciality pharma company focused on ophthalmic products

MSD (known as Merck in the US and Canada) has entered into a deal to acquire Inspire Pharmaceuticals, a speciality pharma company focused the development and commercialisation of ophthalmic products.

The transaction, which has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, has a total cash value of around $430m. Under the terms of the deal, MSD will commence a tender offer for all outstanding common stock of Inspire at a price of $5.00 per share in cash, a 26 per cent premium to the closing price of Inspire's common stock on April 4, 2011. 

"Merck[MSD] continues to build upon its long-term commitment to improving therapeutic options for the treatment of eye diseases," said Beverly Lybrand, senior vice president and general manager, neuroscience and ophthalmology, Merck. "This acquisition combines the talented commercialisation organisation at Inspire with the excellent team already in place at Merck thereby strengthening our ophthalmology business and positioning us for future growth with an expanded portfolio. This deal helps address the needs of patients and customers in ophthalmology and creates value for both companies."

The closing of the tender offer is subject to completion of certain conditions, including the tender of a number of Inspire shares that, together with shares owned by Merck, represent at least a majority of the total number of Inspire's outstanding shares (assuming the exercise of all options and vesting of restricted stock units), the expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary conditions. Upon the completion of the tender offer, Merck will acquire all remaining shares through a second-step merger.

6th April 2011

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