Reuters tapped its inside sources and reported that the bidding war for Amylin ($AMLN) is down to Sanofi ($SNY), Novartis ($NVS), AstraZeneca ($AZN), Merck ($MRK) and Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY). They are all expected to make their final bids by the end of this week, with news to come on who the highest bidder is.
Amylin, of course, had nothing to say about the 11th hour bidding process. But then it never has had much to say since hiring Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs to help set up a buyout back in April. The biotech company even managed to get Carl Icahn to quietly back off, triggering plenty of speculation at the time that Icahn was getting the deal he was looking for. And all the reported bidders are playing their cards very close to the vest.
The speculation is now down to the price. Bristol-Myers Squibb set the floor price at $3.5 billion with its bid, which Amylin wasted little time in waving away as insufficient. All the insider discussions published in Bloomberg and Reuters has since raised Amylin's market value to $4.5 billion, according to Reuters. And Bloomberg says the recent offers have included bids ranging from $4.1 billion to $4.7 billion.
The most recent news reports, though, make no reference to a potential fly in the deal ointment. TheStreet's Adam Feuerstein triggered a flurry of reports after citing an FDA review complaining that Amylin withheld important trial data on its application for Bydureon and then dragged its feet on making good on the FDA's demand. The FDA's Mary Parks says that Amylin's tactics delayed their decision on Bydureon, raising questions about just how forthcoming the company has been in other dealings with regulators. There's no word, though, on whether any of that has dented Amylin's value to its roster of potential buyers.
- here's the Reuters story