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GSK, Human Genome go toe-to-toe in takeover standoff

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GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) and its longtime development partner Human Genome Sciences ($HGSI) are each hunkered down in their standoff over GSK's hostile $2.6 billion takeover offer. Today, GSK extended its deadline on its tender offer to July 20, four days after HGS's deadline for bids. But with no other bidders known to be at the table, the question now is who will blink first.

Quoting "insiders" on the deal, The Wall Street Journal reports that it's GSK's close ties to HGS, which have kept other potential buyers from coming in and starting an auction for the biotech company. And more than two months into a stalemate, GSK is trying to ratchet up the pressure.

"Extension of the tender offer to 20 July will provide HGS shareholders the opportunity to evaluate the outcome of the HGS Board's process relative to GSK's offer," Glaxo said today. "Based on circumstances at that time, GSK will consider all available options regarding its offer but can make no assurance that the tender offer will be further extended."

HGS didn't budge, though, blasting back that GSK's offer is still too low--the same position it adopted from the beginning. HGS--which has a deal with GSK not just on marketing the new lupus drug Benlysta but also on a pair of top experimental drugs; the cardio drug darapladib as well as albiglutide for diabetes--has said that GSK waited until its stock price had plunged to a bargain-basement low before it came up with an offer.

- here's the press release from GSK
- here's the story from The Wall Street Journal

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