NEW YORK (AP) -- Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday started its cash tender offer for shares of vaccine maker Crucell NV, which the U.S. health care giant agreed to buy in October.
The New Brunswick, N.J., company is paying 24.75 euros per share for Crucell, which is based in The Netherlands. That's a 58 percent premium to Crucell's price before the companies announced they were discussing a deal. At current exchange rates, Johnson & Johnson is valuing Crucell at $32.99 per share
The offer is scheduled to expire on Feb. 16, and the companies expect the sale to close in the first quarter of 2011.
The weakening euro has reduced the value of the deal. In October J&J said it would pay $34.40 per share for Crucell. At that price, the deal was worth $2.41 billion.
Johnson & Johnson bought a 17.9-percent stake in Crucell in 2009. Crucell makes vaccines for respiratory infections and diseases like malaria, cholera, and typhoid, as well as diseases that affect children and travelers. It is a major vaccine supplier to UNICEF and developing nations.