Johnson & Johson launches Crucell takeover bid

The U.S. pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson recently launched a bid to take over the Dutch vaccine-maker Crucell.

Through a subsidiary, Johnson & Johnson has offered to buy all of the shares not held by Crucell for a total of $2.3 billion, or $32.94 a share, according to The bid comes despite recent manufacturing problems at the Dutch-owned company.

Crucell had to stop shipments of two of its vaccines from a plant in South Korea several weeks ago after concerns that the plant’s processes had been compromised.

Johnson & Johnson sees owning Crucell as a chance to expand further into vaccine production and to gain better access to emerging markets, according to The two companies first announced the deal in October. Johnson & Johnson already owns an 18 percent stake in the smaller biotech.

Crucell currently manufactures vaccines for measles, hepatitis A and B, typhoid and influenza. It also markets a five disease pediatric vaccine. In development are hepatitis C, malaria and cholera vaccines, reports. Together, Crucell and Johnson & Johnson have been developing a universal influenza monoclonal antibody and a universal influenza vaccine.

The two companies expect to maintain Crucell’s senior management, facilities and current employment levels. Crucell’s headquarters in Leinden, the Netherlands, will also be kept. Johnson & Johnson intends to hold Crucell as the center of vaccine production in its pharmaceutical group.