Merck to acquire Inspire Pharma for $430 million

CHICAGO Tue Apr 5, 2011 10:16am EDT

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - Merck & Co (MRK.N) said on Tuesday it would acquire eye treatment maker Inspire Pharmaceuticals Inc ISPH.O for about $430 million to expand its ophthalmology portfolio.

The $5-per-share cash offer represents a 26 percent premium to Inspire's closing stock price on Monday.

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of both companies. In addition, private equity firm Warburg Pincus WP.UL, which owns approximately 28 percent of Inspire's outstanding shares, has agreed to tender all of its shares into Merck's offer.

(Reporting by Susan Kelly, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)