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Catalent to acquire Juniper Pharmaceuticals for $11.50 per share

Catalent Inc. agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of Juniper Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $11.50 per share in cash.

The acquisition, which includes Juniper's U.K.-based pharma services division, represents a total equity value of about $139.6 million on a fully diluted basis, Boston-based Juniper said.

Juniper Pharmaceuticals develops therapies for unmet needs in women's health. Catalent said the deal will boost its offerings in formulation development, bioavailability solutions and clinical-scale oral dose manufacturing.

Somerset, N.J.-based Catalent will start a tender offer to buy all Juniper shares at $11.50 each. A majority of Juniper's outstanding shares must be tendered for the offer to successfully close. Upon completion of the offer, the company will buy all remaining shares at the same price through a second step merger.

The acquisition, which is subject to closing conditions, is expected to close in the first quarter of Catalent's 2019 fiscal year, which began July 1.

Rothschild & Co. is acting as financial adviser while Goodwin Procter LLP is acting as legal counsel to Juniper. Chestnut Securities also provides advisory services to the company.

The deal comes months after Juniper said it is exploring strategic alternatives for the business. An activist shareholder of the company also urged Juniper to consider a sale in April 2017.

Juniper is also in collaborations with Merck KGaA and Allergan PLC for its progesterone gel Crinone.