Human Genome Sciences Balks at $2.6B Takeover Bid
New York Times: Analysts still expect GlaxoSmithKline to buy Rockville-based biotech.
Human Genome Sciences rejected a $2.59 billion takeover bid by British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline on Thursday, company officials said in a news release.
But the board of directors of the Rockville-based biotechnology firm still is considering selling.
The board, “in consultation with independent financial and legal advisors, has carefully reviewed and considered the GSK offer and has determined that the offer does not reflect the value inherent in HGS,” the release said.
The company’s board “has authorized the exploration of strategic alternatives in the best interests of shareholders, including, but not limited to, a potential sale of the Company,” the release said.
The hostile cash offer equaled $13 a share. The proposed sale would have been “an 81 percent premium on Human Genome’s closing share price on Wednesday,” The New York Times reported.
Glaxo’s offer follows months of takeover rumors, Washington Business Journal reported.
Human Genome’s share price has dropped by as much as 75 percent from a year ago, The Times reported.
The drop is attributed to a costly launch and poor initial reviews for the lupus drug Benlysta. The drug, developed in partnership with Glaxo, was approved for use in the United States in March 2011.
But Human Genome “reported a $381 million loss last year, following a $233 million loss in 2010,” The Times reported.
Analysts predicted the sale ultimately would happen, at $15 to $20 per share, The Times reported.
The Business Journal quoted a letter from Glaxo’s chief executive to Human Genome CEO Tom Watkins saying that the buyout offer “would deliver immediate certain value to HGSI shareholders that is superior to what we believe you can reasonably expect to create as a standalone company.”
The takeover bid follows the 2007 acquisition of Gaithersburg-based MedImmune by another British pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca.