As related here before, Elliott Advisor's slate of proposed new board members have said they believe Actelion needs to be fixed. And, they aren't ruling out a sale of the company either. The group has been on a handshaking tour with key shareholders in New York, London and Zurich to feel out and shore up support for the slate at the board vote to be held on May 5th.
Analysts believe a new board could trigger a sale of Actelion, Europe's largest independent biotech. Both Amgen and GSK have been named as potential suitors but neither of those companies have confirmed those market rumors. Elliott meanwhile publicly pushes for a sale with its 5-6% shareholdings.
Actelion is largely dependent on the sales of one drug, Tracleer, with more than 2 billion in sales -- but it expires in 2015. The only drugs in its pipeline to likely add significant revenues are macitentan and selexipag -- but neither are expected to rise to the level of Tracleer and are unlikely to be sustaining for Actelion by themselves.
Meanwhile, Actelion's CEO Jean-Paul Clozel insists the company has a hardy pipeline and reiterates that the company prefers to remain an independent. If anything, Mr Clozel would like to acquire companies or products from peer companies. Actelion has also recently announced a stock buy back program and may pay its first dividend to help quell investor unrest - at least they've learned that from their big pharma bretheren. Remember, when all else fails, keep the shareholders pocket books happy. Who cares if you can make new drugs? See WSJ.
Posted by Bruce Lehr March 25th 2011.