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GSK extends bid for HGS once again

Pharma company's hostile takeover bid rumbles on

Benlysta - GSK body

GlaxoSmithKline has extended the tender offer for shares in Human Genome Sciences for a second time as its $2.6bn hostile takeover bid rumbles on.

GSK has set a new deadline of July 20 for its $13-per-share bid - having already extended it from June 7 to June 29 - but once again has declined to raise the value of its offer.

The new deadline also comes hard on the heels of the July 16 date set by HGS to complete its own tender process for proposals from other interested parties, with which GSK has persistently refused to engage. 

Analysts suggested the timing is designed to pressure HGS shareholders into making a decision after the tender process concludes.

"GSK believes the three months that will have passed since the start of this process is more than adequate time for the HGS board to bring it to completion," said the pharma multinational in a statement, adding that there is no guarantee it will extend its offer thereafter.

In response, HGS has pointed out that around 375,000 shares of HGS common stock have been tendered to GSK, and this represents less than 1 per cent of its outstanding shares.

The tender process for alternative proposals "continues to be active and fully underway", it added, although to date no other company has made their interest in HGS public.

A complicating factor for any other would-be suitor is GSK's close relationship with HGS, which includes co-marketing of the lupus treatment Benlysta (belimumab) as well as shared interested in the investigational drugs darapladib for atherosclerosis and diabetes candidate albiglutide.

GSK insists that its own offer reflects the value of these programmes, HGS' operating and financial assets, as well as expected cost synergies of at least $200m.

2nd July 2012

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