Japanese pharmaceutical company Astellas Pharma agreed to acquire US peer Audentes Therapeutics for about $3 billion in cash. Audentes shareholders will receive $60 for each share they own.

The transaction price represents a 110% premium to Audentes closing price on Monday. The deal was approved by both boards and recommended shareholders to do the same.

Closing of the transaction is subject customary closing conditions and regulatory approval. The two companies envision completion of the merger in the first quarter of next year.

This is the second biggest acquisition for Astellas following the 2010 purchase of OSI Pharmaceuticals for $3.8 billion, Refinitiv data shows.

“By joining together with Audentes’ talented team, we are establishing a leading position in the field of gene therapy with the goal of addressing the unmet needs of patients living with serious, rare diseases,” said Astellas president and CEO Kenji Yasukawa.

The acquisition is a key step in Astellas’ expansion in areas under which it wants to create medicines for diseases with unmet medical needs, the company added.

Astellas added that it is still reviewing the impact of the merger on its financial results for fiscal 2020.

Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisor to Astellas, while Covington & Burling served as legal counsel.

Centerview Partners provided financial advice to Audentes and Fenwick & West acted as its legal advisor.

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