Facet seeks new bids after Biogen offer flops

With a pair of big investors turning their noses up at Biogen Idec's $17.50 per share offer for Facet Biotech, Biogen's bid to buy up its development partner bit the dust at midnight. But Facet was quick to note that it would welcome a meatier bid for the company--from Biogen or anyone else interested in a deal.  

Yesterday Facet got the support from a hedge fund called The Baupost Group, which holds a 14 percent stake in the company's stock. The fund said it wouldn't be taking Biogen's offer because it failed to reflect the real value of the cash-rich developer. Facet's board, meanwhile, swiftly pivoted and got its adviser--Centerview Partners--in on the act, asking it to solicit a fresh round of offers. And Facet said that it would entertain a "materially increased offer" from Biogen.

Biogen had been stumped early on in the bid process when analysts quickly concluded that its offer was unrealistic. Facet spun out from PDL with a sizeable hoard of cash and one of Biogen's prize partnership programs. Biogen will owe Facet a big milestone on the launch of a late-stage study of the MS drug daclizumab. And as CEO Faheem Hasnain told FierceBiotech last summer, Facet is working on significantly reducing its burn rate while boosting R&D. Now that Facet has been in play, though, its board would like to see someone come along with an offer that includes a premium return for shareholders.

- here's the Reuters story