Roberts Pharmaceutical Corp., which acquires and developslate-stage pharmaceutical products, said Monday that it hassigned a letter of intent under which YamanouchiPharmaceutical Co. Ltd. will buy 4 million newly issued sharesof Roberts stock for $95 million.

The Eatontown, N.J., company (NASDAQ:RPCX) said it will usethe money to accelerate its product development programs andfund possible acquisitions. Roberts' pipeline currently includestreatments for cancer, respiratory disease, endocrine disorders,pain management, and cardiovascular and urologic conditions.

The purchase will increase the number of shares of Robertsstock outstanding to 13.8 million from 9.8 million and willresult in Yamanouchi having a 29 percent ownership interest.Roberts said the deal, which is subject to a definitiveagreement and regulatory approvals, will give the Japanesecompany the option for further expansion in U.S. and Canadianmarkets.

Roberts shares closed at $27.50 on Monday, up $2.50.

After the purchase, which is expected to be concluded inFebruary, Yamanouchi will have up to two seats on the Robertsboard.

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