Roche's bid has agencies split

NEW YORK: Brunswick Group and Sard Verbinnen & Co are representing opposing sides in the potential takeover of Ventana Medical Systems by Swiss drug maker Roche, both sides confirmed last week.

NEW YORK: Brunswick Group and Sard Verbinnen & Co are representing opposing sides in the potential takeover of Ventana Medical Systems by Swiss drug maker Roche, both sides confirmed last week.

Nina Devlin, partner at The Brunswick Group, said her firm was retained to handle media and investor relations exclusively surrounding the bid for Ventana. Devlin couldn't divulge precisely when the agency began working with Roche, but said it was prior to the transaction specifics being released.

Ventana is a leading developer and manufacturer of medical diagnostic instruments and systems for use in slide-based diagnosis of cancer and infectious diseases. The success of the Roche bid is dependent upon the tender of a majority of Ventana's shares of common stock.

April Legate, senior manager of marketing and communications at Ventana, confirmed that Sard Verbinnen was handling the situation for the company, and said they have worked off and on with the agency for some time. At the moment, the firm is strictly handling all things related to the Roche bid.

The $75 per-share bid for Ventana came on July 26, with the company's board quickly issuing a statement that Roche's bid was "wholly inadequate" and recommending that stockholders not tender any of their shares to Roche. Ventana's stock price has surged to over $80 per share since the bid became public. Roche is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.

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