According to the post in the Pharmalot blog, some very large Amgen investors are not excited by the prospect of Amgen spending north of $9 B for Actelion. As these investors point out, Actelion is basically a 'one-trick pony' at thsi point with 85% of its revenues coming from its pulmonay hypertension drug, Tracleer. The rest of the company's value would lie with four drugs in its pipeline, two of which are essentialy replacements for Tracleer.
Amgen's most acerbic investor critic, Steve Silverman, says that any move to buy Actelion is "faulty thinking by a hard-up executive staff." He believes that Tracleer's time has passed and any purchase of Actelion would look like its past purchases of Immunogen or Abgenix - which he deems to be "nothing to write home about".
Other fund managers agree that they would prefer to see Amgen spend its money (approx. $17 B in cash) with smaller, earlier stage companies or to grow organically in pharmerging markets rather than buy expensive bolt-on acquistions.
Despite naysaying by critics though, FT.com reports that BMS, Roche and GSK may also be looking at Actelion in addition to Amgen. As a result, Actelion's stock has surged by more than 40% since late October. Most analysts still think the company is worth about $9 B based on its current commercial drugs and portfolio in the pipeline. Unfortunately, its current price is about 5% above that and premiums offered in biotech buys this year have been in 30-84% range - with the 30% being Sanofi's bid for Genzyme that has of course been thus far unsuccessful.
Posted by Bruce Lehr November 22nd 2010.