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22 Feb 2019

Merck to acquire immunotherapy company, Immune Design for US$ 300 million

Merck and Immune Design announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which Merck, through a subsidiary, will acquire Immune Design for US$ 5.85 per share in cash for an approximate value of US$ 300 million.

Immune Design is a late-stage immunotherapy company employing next-generation in vivo approaches to enable the body’s immune system to fight disease. The company’s proprietary technologies, GLAAS and ZVex, are engineered to activate the immune system’s natural ability to generate and/or expand antigen-specific cytotoxic immune cells to fight cancer and other chronic diseases.

Under the terms of the acquisition agreement announced, Merck, through a subsidiary, will initiate a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Immune Design. The closing of the tender offer will be subject to certain conditions, including the tender of shares representing at least a majority of the total number of Immune Design’s outstanding shares, the expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary conditions. Upon the successful completion of the tender offer, Merck will acquire all shares not acquired in the tender through a second-step merger. The transaction is expected to close early in the second quarter of 2019.

Credit Suisse acted as financial advisor to Merck in this transaction and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP as its legal advisor. Lazard acted as financial advisor to Immune Design and Cooley LLP as its legal advisor.

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