Facet shareholders reject Biogen takeover bid

AP News
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Posted: Dec 17, 2009 11:39 AM

Facet Biotech Corp. shareholders rejected a $493 million takeover bid by Biogen Idec Inc., according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Thursday.

In its filing, Cambridge, Mass.-based Biogen, which had threatened a proxy fight, said the offer expired Wednesday without a majority of shares being tendered. The company said shares previously tendered and not withdrawn will be returned.

In earlier statements, Biogen had said it would push for a proxy fight if Facet shareholders tendered a majority of shares. It also said it would allow the offer to expire.

The result follows Facet's board on Tuesday reaffirming its stance that shareholders reject Biogen's $17.50 per share, which was raised on Dec. 3 from an initial $14.50-per-share price. The latest offer represented a premium of almost 25 percent to Facet's closing price that day.

Redwood City, Calif.-based Facet had repeatedly turned down the earlier Biogen offer and said the updated offer did not reflect the value of several drug development programs. Biogen and Facet already work together on the cancer drug candidate volociximab, and the multiple sclerosis drug daclizumab.

"We are pleased that our stockholders have agreed with our board that Biogen Idec's $17.50 per share offer was inadequate and did not fairly value our company and its prospects," said Facet President and CEO Faheem Hasnain, in a statement. "We will continue to pursue appropriate opportunities and, as previously disclosed, we have requested that our financial advisor, Centerview Partners, solicit additional third parties that may have an interest in a transaction that our board would find in our stockholders' best interests."

Shares of Facet rose 35 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $16.75 in morning trading. The stock has traded between $5.86 and $18.35 over the last 52 weeks.

Biogen shares fell $1.05, or 2.1 percent, to $49.20 in morning trading. The stock has traded between $41.75 and $55.34 over the last 52 weeks.