When one company controls another company's equity, the latter usually loses degrees of freedom. But in the case of Roche's decision to buy the rest of Genentech Inc. for $4.2 billion and sell back 19 percent to the public, the issue may be how GNE pursues its new freedom to drive up its market value and become a force in dealmaking.

While GNE had worked hard over the past few years to get its stock price above the $60 shareholder put while avoiding a Roche decision to exercise its call option, the creative solution in the end was probably something that neither envisioned when the original deal was cut.