Astellas bids $1B for CV Therapeutics

Japan's Astellas Pharma is offering a billion dollars in cash for CV Therapeutics. The bid comes in at $16 a share, a whopping 41 percent premium over yesterday's close. And the pharma company, Japan's second largest, says the bid is not contingent on financing.

Astellas CEO Masafumi Nogimori expressed his excitement and commitment to the deal in a letter to CV Therapeutics CEO Louis Lange. And Nogimori suggested that a deal could be wrapped up in just a few weeks.

There's no early word yet on CV's reaction. But Astellas went on to say that CV Therapeutics rejected the same bid last November and had failed to launch substantive talks since then. Investors took little time in reacting, and swiftly sent CV's shares to $18 this morning.

Buying CV would be a big boost for Astellas, which, like other Japanese pharma companies, has been working hard to expand. CV won approval for the chronic chest pain drug Ranexa last November, weeks after Astellas lost patent protection for prograf.

"We are surprised that the CV Therapeutics board has refused to engage us in meaningful discussions about our proposal; however, we remain committed to working cooperatively with CV Therapeutics to reach a mutually agreeable transaction should the Board reconsider our proposal and decide to engage us in discussions promptly," said Nogimori.

- check out the Astellas release
- read the report from the Silicon Valley Business Journal

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