Hedge fund shareholder Elliott Advisors is calling for Actelion's management to abandon its plan to stay independent. In a letter to the board, Elliott notes, "[S]hareholders are being given no choice regarding the future direction and management." The group added that shareholders are have no say in whether "...Actelion's current independent strategy is the best way forward." The hedge fund, which controls 6 percent of the Swiss biotech's stock, also called for the resignation of Actelion's chairman and for CEO Jean-Paul Clozel to resign from the board.
Rumors have been swirling for months that Switzerland's largest biotech would be on the auction block. In December there were reports that Amgen was considering an offer for the company, thus giving the U.S. biotech a pipeline of cardiovascular medicines. And just last week Actelion was dealt a major blow when GlaxoSmithKline opted to shelve insomnia drug almorexant due to concerns about patients' tolerance of the drug. The setback renewed speculation that Actelion would search for a buyer. But Clozel maintains the biotech should remain an independent company.
Actelion said it is reviewing Elliott's letter and would respond "when the time is right."