Carl Icahn's recent deal for another board seat at Biogen Idec--avoiding yet another proxy fight--doesn't mean he's changed any of his strategic plans for the big biotech outfit. He told Bloomberg that he still thinks Biogen should be sold to a Big Pharma company and likes the idea of splitting the company in two.
"Biogen has a great pipeline with great drugs, that at the right price" should be sold to a big pharmaceutical company, Icahn told the business news service in a telephone interview. And he also thinks that Biogen Idec can be split into two large parts, with one side focused on neurology and the other on cancer.
Icahn has been a persistent burr under Biogen's saddle, battling with management over what he saw as a half-hearted effort to find a buyer and waging proxy fights for control of the company - all part of a greater strategy to boost the value of his stake in the company. CEO Jim Mullen recently announced that he would retire in June and Biogen sidestepped a fresh fight with the Wall Street raider after they named Stephen Sherwin--the chairman at BIO--and Icahn confederate Eric Rowinsky to the board.
"Since we came on the scene, seven of the old guard board members have left for one reason or another," Icahn told Bloomberg. "These aren't bad people, but somewhere along the line, for one reason or another, bureaucracy was allowed to build up for one reason or another. The proof is in the pudding, with the stock price."
- here's the Bloomberg story
Biogen taps Icahn nominee to dodge proxy fight
The hunt is on for next Biogen CEO
Icahn nominates three candidates for Biogen Idec board
Icahn launches third fight with Biogen
Icahn mounts proxy fight with Genzyme