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Sanofi moves to replace Medivation board

Ramps up efforts to seize control of its US biopharma takeover target
Sanofi

Sanofi is seeking to remove and replace Medivation's eight member board of directors in an attempt to gain control of the US firm - and its prize prostate cancer therapy, Xtandi (enzalutamide).

The move follows through on the French group's threat to mount a hostile takeover should Medivation continue to ignore its attempts to acquire the firm.

A previous offer of $9.3bn for the company - or $52.50 per share - was rebuffed by Medivation's board, with chief executive David Hung saying it “substantially undervalues” the biopharma firm.

In a letter to Medivation's shareholders, Sanofi's chief executive Oliver Brandicourt reiterated his belief in the fairness of the tabled offer, but also suggested that his group could increase its offer.

Appealing to shareholders to consent to the board's removal, Brandicourt stated that the current board “is not listening to shareholders and not acting in your best interests”. He added that Sanofi could offer “significant additional value if Medivation were to engage and provide information”.

A deadline of 25 July has been set as the cut-off point for consent submissions by Sanofi, though the firm has reserved the right to extend the deadline beyond this.

Rumours of Sanofi's interest in Medivation first surfaced in early April, before the group was forced to go public with its all-cash offer to buy the US biopharma after the firm declined to enter into negotiations.

Medivation's advanced castration-resistant prostate cancer blockbuster Xtandi has been suggested as Sanofi's main target. The drug is currently Medivation's only marketed product, and brought in $1.9bn in sales last year.

Additionally, Medivation's liver and breast cancer pipeline would be of interest to Sanofi, which is investing in its oncology business.

Article by
Rebecca Clifford

15th June 2016

From: Sales

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