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GSK extends deadline for HGS tender

But fails to improve $2.6bn offer for Human Genome Sciences

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has extended the deadline for its $2.6bn tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Human Genome Sciences to June 29, but has opted not to increase its $13 per share bid.

HGS' management has repeatedly turned down GSK's offer and has been implementing a number of defensive measures to try to thwart the hostile takeover, including a shareholder rights plan that would trigger if GSK's stake in the firm rose above 15 per cent.

By the time the first deadline expired on midnight of June 7, GSK had received tenders for less than 500,000 shares, which represented less than 1 per cent of HGS' outstanding stock, according to the US biotech.

In a statement issued on Friday, GSK said it said its $13 per share bid "represents full and fair value and is in the best interests of both companies' shareholders". Shares in HGS are currently trading at $13.32.

The pharma major reiterated its view that the offer reflects the value of HGS' portfolio, which includes lupus treatment Benlysta (belimumab) - co-marketed by the two companies - as well as investigational drugs darapladib and albiglutide.

Meanwhile, HGS said once again that it was looking at a number of strategic alternatives, including a potential sale of the company.

"This process continues to be active and fully underway," it said, noting that GSK declined to take part and "seeks to circumvent, disrupt and prematurely end the company's process to the disadvantage of HGS stockholders".

Analysts suggested that the deadline was designed to give GSK time to replace HGS' board members with its own candidates, via a consent solicitation process which it started at the end of May. HGS' bylaws include a provision to allow a change in board control without a general meeting.

11th June 2012

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