As We Expected, Chiesi Moves to Acquire Cornerstone Therapeutics

To those following the story (and PropThink’s coverage), it should come as little surprise that Cornerstone Therapeutics’ (CRTX) majority shareholder Chiesi Farmaceutici SpA is making a bid to acquire the specialty pharmaceutical company. In a letter to Cornerstone’s Board on Tuesday, Chiesi, an Italian pharma firm, laid out a plan to acquire the remaining 40% of CRTX shares (Chiesi already owns 60%) for between $6.40 and $6.70 per share, a 22% premium to Monday’s closing price if the deal goes through at the high end of that range. PropThink picked up on the possibility of a takeover in December, and in fact, we opined that Chiesi’s maneuvering (favorable distribution deals and share buying) were highly indicative of its interest in owning the company outright. The deal makes perfect sense given Chiesi’s involvement in Curosurf distribution, Cornerstone’s lung surfactant used for the treatment of respiratory distress syndrome in premature infants; Chiesi’s “focus on respiratory diseases and neonatology;” and that Chiesi has plenty of cash on hand to get a deal done. In addition, the Italian company has been looking for an North American beachhead for some time, and Cornerstone makes for an ideal landing point. While Cornerstone cautioned investors that no decisions have been made regarding the proposal, there’s not much standing in the way of this union. Chiesi is a majority shareholder and key partner for Cornerstone, and we believe that the Italian company is calling the shots.