Biogen ups the ante for Facet

Biogen Idec has made its "best-and-final offer" for Facet Biotech. The big biotech has upped its bid to $17.50 per share (around $430 million), up from the $14.50 per share--or $356 million--Biogen extended in September. When Facet rejected that offer, Biogen said it would hold firm at $14.50 per share and initiated a hostile takeover of the Redwood City, CA‎-based developer. At the time analysts said a deal was unlikely to get done at Biogen's price point. It appears they were correct.

The two drugmakers already work closely together on development pacts covering the multiple sclerosis drug daclizumab as well as volociximab. In making its case to Facet's stockholders, Biogen points out that its increased bid provides a 98 percent premium over the closing price of Facet stock on September 3, 2009, the day before Biogen made its first offer. In an "accept our offer, or else..." warning, Biogen postulates that if Facet rejects this final offer, its stock will plunge to pre-offer levels. Additionally, the biotech says Facet's long-term options aren't better than accepting a buyout offer now. "Taking into account its monthly cash 'burn rate' and its significant lease obligations, Facet does not have the cash to fund its operations beyond 2012, well before completion of the daclizumab clinical program, without obtaining additional financing, which we believe will be dilutive." Finally, Biogen noted that while it has already paid for a 50 percent interest in daclizumab, it does "not intend to overpay for the rest."

Facet's board advised that its shareholders sit tight while it evaluates the bid. "Facet Biotech's board will review and consider Biogen Idec's revised offer, and will advise Facet Biotech's stockholders of the board's recommendation regarding the revised offer as well as its reasons for that position." Biogen noted that its offer expires at midnight on December 16th.

- take a look at Biogen's offer
- check out Facet's response
- here's the story from Reuters