Local Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Two law firms are challenging the proposed $4 billion merger between (Nasdaq: TLCR) and Spain-based Grifols.

The firms announced their opposition on Tuesday.

Also Tuesday, Talecris, which focuses on blood plasma-based therapeutics, announced a partnership with Novartis (NYSE: NVS) in promotion of rabies treatments.

Talecris’ board has agreed to the takeover by Grifols in a deal that includes $600 million in debt and values Talecris shares at $19 in cash plus Grifols stock. Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm, owns some 49 percent of Talecris.

The New York law firm Tripp Levy filed suit on behalf of Talecris shareholders, alleging that the Talecris “failed to maximize shareholder value and obtain the best price possible for Talecris’ shareholders before entering into the agreement with Grifols.”

Washington, D.C.-based Finkelstein Thompson said it is “investigating” the merger.

“The investigation is focused on the potential unfairness of the consideration to Talecris’ shareholders and the process by which Talecris’ Board of Directors considered and approved the transaction,” the firm said. “According to Yahoo! Finance, at least one analyst has set a target price of $28.00 per share for the Company’s stock.”

In the deal with Novartis, the companies said they would co-promote post-exposure rabies products.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Talecris offers a product called HyperRAB for previously unvaccinated individuals.

Novartis, which is building a huge vaccine plant in Holly Springs, offers RabAvert, a pre-exposure and post-exposure rabies product.

."Through our agreement with Novartis, we are seeking to improve access to this critical-care therapy by ensuring that patients receive the immune protection provided by HyperRAB S/D and RabAvert," said John Perkins, executive vice president of global commercial operations at Talecris. "By co-promoting the two products, we will also enhance awareness of the recommended CDC guidelines for preventing rabies following an exposure."

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