Is an Amylin takeover inevitable after the BMS rejection?
Now that the world knows that Amylin ($AMLN) rejected Bristol-Myers' reported $3.5 billion buyout offer, all the speculation quickly shifted to suggestions on the most likely bidder to step in with a sweetened offer. Bloomberg, which broke the bid story yesterday, quickly zeroed in on AstraZeneca ($AZN), which has suffered through a bad streak in the clinic, has to defend a thin late-stage pipeline and offered repeated rounds of budget cuts to make up for its notable lack of success.
Sanford C. Bernstein analyst and careful observer Tim Anderson had already tapped AstraZeneca as a possible buyer, noting that Amylin's newly approved Bydureon would help it beef up its diabetes arm. A spokesperson for AstraZeneca underscored earlier statements that the company is on the hunt, but kept quiet about the specifics of what it's looking for. "We're active in looking at assets that are complementary with our disease area focus and our strategy, but of course we don't comment on specific rumors or speculation."
The word from Sanofi, Merck and Takeda, all possible bidders: No comment.
Investors quickly bid up Amylin's shares past BMS's $22-per-share offer yesterday, happy to bet on a better offer. And some analysts note that Amylin may have to take the best offer on the table now, as any ex-U.S. partnering deal to take the place of Eli Lilly on Bydureon would trigger a collapse in share price.
"We generally believe these stories are 'leaks' that serve a purpose. The purpose of (this) announcement, we believe, is to tie Amylin's hands and prevent them from doing an 'ex-US' deal instead of a sale," writes Leerink Swann analyst Josh Shimmer, as reported by Pharmalot.
Anderson agreed. So the next move may be up to Amylin. The choice: Partner and lose its status as a takeover target or hold on to the Bydureon rights and look for a better price.
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