Cubist shares spike on fresh rumors of a $2B buyout

The market buzz about a potential Cubist Pharmaceuticals ($CBST) buyout grew on Monday with new rumors that Shire, fresh off its acquisition of Advanced BioHealing, was plotting a $2 billion offer for the Cambridge, MA-based biotech company.

The Telegraph, which helped initially stir this pot late last week, reports that the new rumor is that Shire approached Cubist a few weeks ago with an offer of $44.50 per share. And AstraZeneca, Teva and J&J--all deep-pocket players with plenty of cash for a deal like this--were reportedly also in the circle of potential acquirers. Considering the red-hot buyout phase now underway in the life sciences industry, investors wasted little time in bidding up shares on the theory that this much smoke had to signal a potential feast.

Cubist shares hit a 52-week high on the rumors. This morning the stock was trading at $36.29, down slightly from yesterday's spike. Cubist has a market cap of $2.2 billion.

Cubist has been the subject of considerable speculation since it recently settled a patent case with Teva on Cubicin, its top antibiotic for skin infections. Of course, Cubist--which also has three mid-stage programs in its pipeline--isn't new to the game of takeovers and rumors of takeovers. Almost exactly two years ago Cubist officials told Bloomberg they weren't out flogging the company as a takeover target, but they would listen to anyone who had an interesting offer in mind. The more things change...

- read the story from The Telegraph
- and here's the report from TheStreet