ImClone's Icahn: Holding A Pistol To Bristol

Carl Icahn
Shiho Fukada
Carl Icahn

At the Thomson Reuters/BioCentury investment conference some hedge fund guy, who I'd never met before and who will remain unidentified, whispered in my ear that there's gonna be a bidding war for ImClone Systems.

But I couldn't do anything with that "information." You never know where these guys are coming from and what their motivation might be to start or fuel a potential rumor.

Well, guess what? The guy was on the money. This morning IMCLannounced that Chairman Carl Icahn has talked to a big pharma CEO who is apparently putting a $70-a-share offer on the table. Bristol-Myers Squibbhad offered 60 bucks and IMCL and Icahn said it was too low.

So, now the guessing game is on as to which other mystery major drug company is making a play for ImClone. The press release coyly didn't reveal the name. I'm not gonna play along, but honestly, you can pretty much take your pick among the sector as to who has the cash and the desire to pick up a significant oncology company for five billion bucks.

Deutsche Bank's veteran big pharma analyst, Barbara Ryan, is out with a research note to clients saying she thinks whoever the new bidder is that this will simply force BMY to pony up $70 a share. She writes, "This is a good strategic and financial deal for BMY at that price." She points out that the $70 offer is subject to due diligence while BMY, which is already very familiar with its cancer drug partner IMCL, can make an immediate unconditional offer for the same price.

Bristol, what say you?

    • ImClone Rejects Bristol Bid, Mulls Rival Suitor

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