BB Biotech rejects proposal by Vontobel Group

Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:02am EDT

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BB BIOTECH AG / BB Biotech rejects proposal by Vontobel Group . Processed and transmitted by Thomson Reuters ONE. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Response of the Board of Directors of BB Biotech to the proposal made by Vontobel Group

Further to the press release published today by Vontobel Group, the Board of Directors of BB Biotech AG (ticker symbol: BION) confirms that Vontobel Group has made a proposal to restructure BB Biotech from its current status as a listed investment company into an unlisted investment fund. The proposal is unsolicited and has been published without consultation of BB Biotech. Based on a detailed strategic review, the Board of Directors of BB Biotech has unanimously concluded that such proposal is not in the best interest of the company and its shareholders and, therefore, rejects the proposal of Vontobel Group.

The Board of Directors notes that the share price of BB Biotech has seen a very strong performance over the last twelve months (32.9% in CHF) during which period it outperformed the broader Swiss market represented by the Swiss Performance Index ("SPI") (3.0% in CHF). Based on the unaudited consolidated results, after-tax profit for the first half of 2012 amounts to CHF 354 million. This result is a reflection of the successful investment strategy of BB Biotech AG and its consistent implementation.

Whilst the Board of Directors views the recent performance as an indicator of BB Biotech's successful investment track record, it regularly evaluates strategic alternatives with a view to a sustainable increase of value for the company and its shareholders. Especially in the current highly volatile, rapidly changing and challenging market environment, the Board of Directors attaches great importance to continuously assess the implications of macro-economic factors and, as required, adjust the corporate strategy accordingly.

In this light, the Board of Directors, with assistance of its independent professional advisors, has engaged in a detailed review of all strategic options available to BB Biotech. This strategic review also included, but was not limited to, an in-depth analysis of the transaction proposed by Vontobel Group, despite such proposal leaving a number of important regulatory and tax questions unanswered and requiring approval by 2/3 of the votes in a shareholder meeting.

In the course of this strategic review, the Board of Directors concluded that BB Biotech's corporate strategy of being a listed investment company is in the best interest of the company and its shareholders over the mid to long-term.

Further details will be provided as part of the half year results announcement on July 19, 2012. In the meantime, the Board of Directors recommends to the shareholders of BB Biotech AG to not take any action.

Contact
Urs Knapp, Spokesperson of the Board of Directors of BB Biotech AG
+41 44 266 67 67, knapp@farner.ch

Company profile

BB Biotech invests in companies in the fast growing market of biotechnology and is one of the world's largest investors in this sector with around CHF 1.2 bn in assets under management. BB Biotech is listed in Switzerland, Germany and Italy. Its investments are focused on listed companies that are developing and commercializing novel medical treatments and cures. BB Biotech's investment selection process is guided by the fundamental research and analysis of physicians and molecular biologists. Its Board of Directors has many years of experience in industry and science.




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