- Summary: Having fired its CEO Peter R. Dolan and its General Counsel Richard Willard, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY) continues to fuel speculation that the drug maker could be opening the door to a takeover by selecting an interim successor, board member James M. Cornelius (pictured), who sold off the last company he led. In his last job, Mr. Cornelius, also an interim CEO at the time, oversaw the sale of medical-device maker Guidant Corp. to Boston Scientific Corp. (BSX) for $27 billion. Investors have long speculated about a takeover of Bristol-Myers, which is considered to have one of the best research pipelines in the pharmaceutical industry but is struggling to maintain profits from its blockbuster drugs. The choice of Mr. Cornelius, 62, gives such a scenario more credence, analysts say. Exasperated by the repeated missteps that occurred under Mr. Dolan's watch, some shareholders believe the time is right to sell the company and have been urging the board to do so. Chris Schott, an analyst with Bank of America, stated in a research note he sent to clients yesterday: "We believe, given Cornelius's background, that the market will continue to raise the possibility of Bristol as a takeover candidate." Shares of BMY responded by jumping nearly 4% to $24.32 in NYSE composite trading yesterday.
- Comment on related stocks/ETFs: Read Jim Cramer's take on Bristol-Myers following the recent firing of the company's CEO. For more on the company's difficulties turning profits of late, read David Phillips' piece.
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