PLANEGG/MUNICH (dpa-AFX) - The Management Board and Supervisory Board of drug discovery company Morphosys have recommended that shareholders accept the takeover bid by Swiss drug manufacturer Novartis. "The proposed takeover by Novartis is in the best interests of Morphosys, our shareholders and cancer patients worldwide," said Morphosys CEO Jean-Paul Kress in Planegg near Munich on Thursday. This could accelerate the commercialization and development opportunities of the oncology pipeline.

Novartis announced its takeover plans for Morphosys at the beginning of February and published the offer documents on Thursday morning. Accordingly, the Swiss company is offering Morphosys shareholders 68 euros per share, which according to the Munich-based company's calculations represents a premium of almost 100 percent on the volume-weighted average share price of the past month. Morphosys is thus valued at 2.7 billion euros. The offer requires a minimum acceptance threshold of 65 percent. The offer period is scheduled to end on May 13./lew/nas