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Astellas drops CV Therapeutics bid

Astellas has announced it has dropped its $1.1bn buyout attempt for CV Therapeutics after the US company agreed to a higher offer of $1.4bn from competitor Gilead Sciences

Astellas announced yesterday that it has dropped its $1.1bn buyout attempt for CV Therapeutics after the US company agreed to a higher offer of $1.4bn from competitor Gilead Sciences.

Californian-based Gilead is paying $1.4bn, or $20 per share, topping the Japanese pharmaceutical company's $16 per share offer. CV Therapeutics has also advised that its shareholders tender their stock in the Gilead offer.

Astellas is in partnership with CV to market Lexiscan, one of CV Therapeutic's top-selling cardiovascular drugs. It had been looking to take control of the company to expand its portfolio and pipeline, but explained that trying to match Gilead's bid would hurt its shareholders.

"Astellas is a disciplined acquirer and does not see value for Astellas' stockholders in CV Therapeutics at the price level of the sale announced on March 12," a spokesperson said.

Astellas will also cease attempts to place directors on CV Therapeutics board or pursue the lawsuit it filed against CV Therapeutics over the action the company had previously taken to avoid a takeover by Astellas.

CV Therapeutics' shares fell 1.8 per cent to $20.67 on March 13, its biggest decline in nine days, after analysts predicted Astellas would let its offer lapse. Astellas, which announced withdrawal after trading closed, was unchanged at 2,935 yen on March 16.

Although investors may have preferred no deal to the risk of paying an excessive premium on CV Therapeutics, Astellas is left with a need for new income sources as it faces expiring patents on key drugs such as Prograf and Flomax.

Kumi Miyauchi, an analyst at Daiwa Institute of Research said: "(Astellas) still needs some kind of strategic investment, rather than just buying back its own shares to enhance stakeholder returns. But it remains unclear what exactly the company can do to improve its outlook."

17th March 2009

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