Buzz: Amylin brings in the bankers to spur an auction

Amylin ($AMLN) has never confirmed or denied the much repeated story that it rejected a $22 per share bid for the company by Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY). And today it's refusing to comment on a fresh round of reports by Bloomberg and Reuters that the company has put itself on the auction block, bringing in the investment bankers to find a buyer willing to put up sufficient cash to close a deal.

Quoting sources, Bloomberg reports that Sanofi ($SNY) may be on the short list of potential bidders. The pharma giant has been hesitating, though, because it has a GLP-1 diabetes drug--lixisenatide--which would compete with Amylin. Product-hungry AstraZeneca ($AZN), which almost immediately was linked to a possible bid by analysts, told the business news service that it's scouting the field, but wouldn't comment directly on a possible offer for Amylin. And Reuters, which initially broke the story, added Merck ($MRK) and Takeda Pharmaceutical as possible bidders in its coverage.

All of the inside news on a buyout has been through sources, since Amylin has consistently refused to discuss the matter. That hasn't stopped Carl Icahn from moving in for a fresh kill, though. Icahn has sued Amylin to push a sale, looking to get into a proxy fight over a merger deal. Now Credit Suisse Group AG and Goldman Sachs Group can start moving behind the scenes to see if they can get a deal going that Amylin would like to talk about.

Amylin's shares had been suffering until BMS stepped up to make the rumored offer, starting a rally that has pushed the price past the $22 mark. Amylin is likely to be after the $31 or $32 price that Jefferies and BMO Capital Markets believe it's worth.

- here's the story from Reuters
- read the Bloomberg report