Santarus Inc., a San Diego maker of diabetes and gastrointestinal drugs, has agreed to be acquired for $2.6 billion by Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Raleigh, N.C.-based Salix will acquire all of Santarus’ (Nasdaq: SNTS) outstanding stock for $32 in cash per share. This is a 37 percent premium over Santarus’ Nov. 7 closing price of $23.22. The company’s stock shot up immediately after the news was announced, rising 37 percent in after-hours trading to $31.91.

Stock for Santarus has increased significantly this year; it began 2013 trading at $11.29 per share. As of market close Nov. 7, the company had a market capitalization of $1.5 billion.

The transaction is expected to close in first quarter 2014. Salix (Nasdaq: SLXP) said in a release that it will finance the transaction with a combination of about $800 million in cash on hand and $1.95 billion in financing from Jefferies LLC.

— SDBJ Staff Report