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GlaxoSmithKline to Get Hostile with Offer for Human Genome

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It was revealed on Wednesday that GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) is looking to make a hostile takeover move for Human Genome Sciences (NASDAQ: HGSI), making an initial $2.6 billion tender offer this week after HGSI turned down a takeover approach.

Not it seems that GSK is taking matters into their own hands and going for the hardline approach. GSK aims to offer $13 per share in cash, which represents 81% more than HGSI's April 18 closing price, according to GSK in a statement.

The situation is mildly awkward due to the fact that the two companies are currently working together to develop two medicines. HGSI is currently looking into alternatives to GSK's offer as it feels that it is too low and it has invited GSK to participate in that review. GSK has, perhaps unsurprisingly, turned down that offer as it hopes to show shareholders that it is committed to pushing forward with its own offer.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall in those labs. Perhaps the lab technicians, chemists and the like can shut the politics out. But we like to think that it is kind of like working with your ex-wife, the day after the divorce hearing. Even Rajesh Varma, who ménages 5 billion euros for HGSI shareholder DNCA Finance SA in Paris, said that, "It will probably be a long, drawn-out story."

GSK's hostile takeover bid comes hot on the heels of a similar move by Roche Holding AG for Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN) in January, though that was abandoned last month. However, April saw AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) agree to buy Ardea Biosciences (NASDAQ: RDEA) for $1.3 billion.

GSK's offer for HGSI became public knowledge in April, with HGSI shares falling 76% from the company's peak in 2011. It is certainly a generous offer, no matter the noises coming out of HGSI, valuing that company at 11 times the estimated 2012 sales.

"Shareholders should have the opportunity to decide for themselves on the merits of the offer," Glaxo said.

GSK also said that the offer is "full and fair", allowing HGSI shareholders the opportunity to sell immediately.

Follow me @BCallwood.

Posted-In: Earnings News M&A


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