Johnson & Johnson in talks to buy Crucell for $2.3 billion

US health care major Johnson & Johnson is in talks to acquire Dutch biotech firm Crucell, for around 1.75 billion euros ($2.3 billion), in an all-cash deal.

Johnson & Johnson and Crucell are in advanced negotiations for an all-cash public offer of €24.75 per ordinary share of Crucell, the US company said in a release.

J&J, which already owns a 17.9 per cent stake in Crucell, said the potential cash offer of 24.75 euros is a 58 per cent premium to its Thursday's closing price.

Johnson & Johnson said it has filed documents with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with its change in investment plans with respect to Crucell.

The transaction if realised would catapult Crucell to Johnson & Johnson's centre for vaccine development while Crucell's strength in the manufacture, discovery and commercialisation of vaccines would create a strong platform for Johnson & Johnson in the vaccine market.

Johnson & Johnson said it would maintain Crucell's existing facilities, retain Crucell's senior management and current employment levels, once the acquisition is completed. Crucell will also remain Leiden-based.