A man walks past a Johnson & Johnson sign in front of the company’s headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey. (Photographer: Emile Wamsteker/Bloomberg News)

Actelion CEO Becomes a Billionaire With J&J’s Bid for Drugmaker

(Bloomberg) -- Jean-Paul Clozel, the chief executive officer and co-founder of Actelion Ltd., has become a billionaire with Johnson & Johnson’s interest in the Swiss drug company.

Shares in Actelion, Europe’s largest biotech company, have soared 24 percent since Nov. 24 when Bloomberg reported the companies were in talks. J&J made an initial bid of about $26 billion and has since raised its takeover offer, according to people familiar with the matter.

Actelion CEO Becomes a Billionaire With J&J’s Bid for Drugmaker

Jean-Paul Clozel

Source: Actelion Ltd.

Actelion sells seven approved products including drugs that treat a variety of ailments, according to its website, such as pulmonary arterial hypertension, characterized by abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries between the heart and lungs.

The takeover talk has sent shares of the Allschwil-based company to record highs, pushing Clozel’s net worth to $1.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The 61-year-old owns a 5.03 percent stake in the business, according to Actelion’s 2015 annual report.

Actelion representatives didn’t return phone calls and e-mail messages requesting comment on Clozel’s net worth.

Clozel, who co-founded Actelion with his wife Martine, Walter Fischli, Thomas Widmann and Andre Mueller in 1997, is said to prefer a deal structure that would keep Actelion independent. That could reduce his current gains as it erodes the probability of a juicy takeover premium generated by competitive bids from other potential buyers, according to Sam Fazeli, an analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence.

Actelion CEO Becomes a Billionaire With J&J’s Bid for Drugmaker

The takeover speculation is also good news for billionaire Rudolf Maag, whose own 5 percent stake has jumped in value by about $200 million since details of the talks emerged. The Swiss billionaire made his fortune from medical equipment maker Stratec, which merged with Synthes in 1999. Synthes was bought by J&J for $20 billion in 2012.