Gilead buying Triangle Pharma – MarketWatch

FOSTER CITY, Calif. (CBS.MW) — Gilead Sciences agreed Wednesday to acquire Triangle Pharmaceuticals Inc. for about $464 million cash, in a bid to gain Triangle’s experimental drug to treat HIV.

Gilead said it would pay $6 cash for all outstanding Triangle stock, a 33 percent premium to Triangle’s closing share price of $4.50 Tuesday. Terms of the deal also call for Gilead to provide $50 million of interim financing, up to $30 million of which may be forgivable in certain circumstances, the companies said in a statement.

The transaction, which is expected to close in first half of 2003, must still receive regulatory approval.

News of the deal caused Triangle shares to surge 29.28 percent, or $1.32 to $5.82 while Gilead shares added 73 cents to $37.61 Wednesday.

Gilead said it expects the purchase to cut earnings in 2003, be neutral in 2004 and add to earnings in 2005.

Foster City, Calif.-based Gilead
has six commercially available products, four of which are antiviral drugs. The company markets Viread to treat HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Gilead’s portfolio also includes Hepsera, which is used to treat chronic hepatitis B.

of Durham, N.C., develops antiviral drugs with a focus on HIV, AIDS and hepatitis B.

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Gilead will gain from Triangle a once-a-day pill, Coviracil, which is used to treat HIV. Gilead said it plans to develop a treatment using Viread and Coviracil as a potential fixed-dose combination to treat HIV.

Triangle filed an application for Coviracil with the Food and Drug Administration in September.

“Together, our combined organization is well position to successfully launch Coviracil into the competitive HIV marketplace,” Gilead President and Chief Executive John Martin.

Goldman Sachs advised Gilead while Banc of America Securities represented Triangle.

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