Friday 20 April 2018

Glaxo makes $2.6bn hostile bid for Human Genome

GLAXOSMITHKLINE has made a $2.6bn (€2bn) hostile takeover bid for Human Genome Sciences with a $13-a-share tender offer.

GSK insists its bid is full and fair, and said it was taking its offer direct to US biotech group's shareholders because it believes "there is clear strategic and financial logic" to the deal.

The move follows Human Genome's rejection of an approach from GSK as undervaluing the company.

GSK's cash offer is 81pc above Human Genome's share price before the initial approach, but well below the US group's $14.62 share price on Tuesday.

"At $13 it is a steal. I still think it is very likely that they will have to pay more," Mark Evans, a fund manager at Taube Hodson Stonex, the sixth largest investor in Human Genome with a 5.6pc stake, told Reuters.

GSK and Human Genome, the US pioneer of gene-based drug discovery, together sell Benlysta, a new drug for lupus. They are also collaborating on two other experimental drugs for diabetes and heart disease that could become significant sellers.

Buying Human Genome would give GSK full rights to these partnered drugs.

The start date of the tender offer is to be announce and it will remain open for 20 business days after its commencement.

Human Genome was exploring strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the company, and had invited GSK to join the process. GSK said on Wednesday it would not participate.

"GSK's participation in the process is unnecessary as its offer is not conditioned on due diligence or financing and can be completed expeditiously," it said in a statement.

"It is important for HGS shareholders to understand that GSK is committed to proceeding with its offer."

GSK shares fell 1.5pc in early trading in London.

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