After being waylaid by last fall’s market meltdown, the takeover bid of Genentech by the Swiss pharmaceutical behemoth Roche, looks to be back on track. The blog FiercePharma reported (via the Financial Times) this week that Roche is preparing a $44 billion offer that will be presented to Genentech’s board within the next few weeks.

Although headquartered in San Francisco, Genentech has a 500-employee plant in Oceanside that manufactures Avastin, its best-selling cancer drug. In September, we wrote about how the employees might be affected by the takeover. And since, we’ve written about the deal being on, and then maybe being off.

According to the FiercePharma post, if this deal goes through, it could be one of the first pieces of tangible evidence that the credit freeze is thawing. Here’s an excerpt from the commentary:

The FT reports that Roche has a handshake deal for $25 billion with a syndicate of 10 banks led by HSBC and JP Morgan. If that’s so, then this buyout deal is on the vanguard of corporate financing. Credit has been tough to get since the markets froze over in October, but the ice appears to be breaking now; a recent “flurry of corporate bond issues” helped encourage the Roche banks to make this deal.


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