Johnson & Johnson announced today that it has made a cash offer to acquire Dutch vaccine maker Crucell N.V. at a price representing a 58 percent premium over the share price in September, when the companies announced that they were discussing a deal.

J&J, which is based in New Brunswick, N.J., is offering 24.75 euros (about $33 U.S.) a share for the company in which one of its divisions already owns a stake of about 18 percent.

Crucell said today that its board had approved the deal.

The U.S. drugmaker said it expected to keep Crucell's existing facilities, senior management and employment levels, and keep it the center for Johnson & Johnson's vaccine operations.    - Roslyn Rudolph