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American pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), whose brands include Tylenol, Band-Aid and Johnson's baby products, have said that they are in advanced negotiations for a potential EUR 1.75 billion (US$2.3 billion) takeover of vaccine developer Crucell (NASDAQ: CRXL).

Johnson & Johnson, through an affiliate, currently holds an approximate 17.9% stake in Crucell and has already submitted a statement to the SEC saying it plans to change its investment intent.

Under the terms of the negotiations, Johnson & Johnson, or an affiliate, would acquire the remaining shares of Crucell that it does not already own for approximately EUR1.75 billion in cash, or EUR24.75 per share - a 58% premium to Thursday's close.

The acquisition would give Johnson & Johnson a strong platform from which to expand in the vaccine market, it said, and would also allow Crucell to benefit from Johnson & Johnson's strong brand and backing.

After closing, Johnson & Johnson expects to maintain Crucell's existing facilities and its headquarters in Leiden, as well as its senior management and general employee levels.

If the deal goes through, Crucell will become the vaccine center of Johnson & Johnson's.

Crucell is focused on research development, production and marketing of vaccines, proteins and antibodies that prevent and/or treat infectious diseases. In 2009 alone, the company distributed more than 115 million vaccine doses in more than 100 countries around the world, with the vast majority of doses (97%) going to developing countries. It is one of the major suppliers of vaccines to UNICEF.

Aside from its headquarters in Leiden, Crucell has offices in China, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, the USA and Vietnam.

Crucell has surged more than 50% in Amsterdam trading since the announcement of Johnson & Johnson's potential offer.

Disclosure: no positions

Source: Crucell Soars on Johnson & Johnson Potential Offer