Jeff Marrazzo sparked a bidding war for Spark that spurred a thrifty Roche CEO to seal the winning deal with a blockbuster premium

Spark CEO Jeff Marrazzo didn’t have much going for him when Roche chief Severin Schwan told him in December that he was prepared to bid $70 a share for the pioneering gene therapy company. Like a lot of biotechs, Spark’s share price had been beat up in the second half of 2018, and Schwan was ready to turn ongoing collaboration talks into an M&A deal with sweet terms for the pharma giant.

Marrazzo’s immediate reaction was that Schwan would have to start a lot higher, well into the 80s, if he expected to get deal talks underway. Not only did Marrazzo refuse to entertain the offer, he and the board also cut off the collaboration talks with Roche. But after a few weeks, a thrifty Schwan was only ready to budge a little bit, moving to $73.

Then, as Spark’s new SEC filing shows, things began to get very interesting.

In order to read this article, you must be an Endpoints News subscriber. (It's free to subscribe.)

← Go back

We produce two daily email newsletters designed to give you a complete picture of what's important in biopharma. It's free to subscribe and never any spam. Join 47,300+ biopharma executives who read Endpoints News every day.

Access is subject to the terms in our Privacy Policy.

The best place to read Endpoints News? In your inbox.

Comprehensive daily news report for those who discover, develop, and market drugs. Join 47,300+ biopharma pros who read Endpoints News by email every day.

Free Subscription

Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

Visit Endpoints Careers ->