A lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges that Swiss drugmaker Roche is abusing its power as the majority owner of biotech giant Genentech with a bid to buy the remaining shares at an allegedly low price unfair to minority investors, according to the San Francisco Chronicle:
Roche offered $89 per share on Monday to acquire the shares it doesn’t already own in the standout South San Francisco biotech company. Lawyers for a Genentech shareholder said Roche is taking advantage of its controlling influence over the biotechnology company to give short shrift to other investors. Roche gained the majority of Genentech shares in 1990, and now owns 55.9 percent.
“It is clear that the proposed buyout is on unfair terms and shortchanges Genentech’s shareholders,” said Steven Toll, managing partner at Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll in Washington.
The firm asked a Delaware court to accept its complaint as a class action suit on behalf of all non-Roche investors in Genentech, which is incorporated in Delaware.