Merck (NYSE:MRK) finalizes its acquisition of Idenix Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IDIX) for $24.50 per share. As of yesterday, 131,693,787 IDIX shares were tendered representing 82.5% of its outstanding common stock.
Merck (MRK) begins the process of acquiring Idenix Pharmaceuticals (IDIX) for $24.50 in cash. It will file a Schedule TO with the SEC today. Idenix will file a Schedule 14D-9 that includes the recommendation of the IDIX BOD that shareholders accept MRK's offer.
Merck (MRK -0.3%) shareholder Ronald Burns files suit (Burns vs Idenix Pharmaceuticals) attempting to block its $3.9B acquisition of Idenix (IDIX +1.4%) stating that the price undervalues IDIX. He cites IDIX's intrinsic value and a flawed process that prevents competing bids.
The deal includes a no-solicitation clause, grants MRK the right to match any superior offer and stipulates a $115.6M termination fee. Mr. Burns alleges that these clauses virtually assure Merck gets the deal.
At an investors meeting in Los Angeles, Merck (MRK -0.9%) EVP and President, Merck Research Laboratories Roger Perlmutter, M.D., Ph.D., says the company will consider large acquisitions as way to expand its product portfolio rather than obtain drug-development technologies. He says Merck continues to have an appetite for deals following its recent buy of Idenix (IDIX +0.3%) for $3.85B.
RBC's Michael Yee believes that Gilead's (GILD +0.6%) 4% drop yesterday in response to Merck's (MRK +0.4%) buy of Idenix (IDIX -0.3%) creates a nice buying opportunity. He says Sovaldi sales could hit $12B in 2015 driving EPS to $8 - 10 meaning the firm would likely sport a modest earnings multiple of only 8 - 10.
Mr. Yee states that the consensus view is that the U.S. HCV market will begin to deteriorate by 2016 but other long-term markets (ex-U.S.) are sustainable.
Right on cue, legal troll Rigrodsky & Long announces its investigation (and shareholder recruitment) into whether the Idenix (IDIX +231.8%) BOD breached its fiduciary duty by not shopping the company around before agreeing to Merck's (MRK -0.1%) $24.50/share offer. Apparently, a ~240% premium isn't enough.
Boston-base Baupost Group LLC, the hedge fund run by highly-respected value investor Seth Klarman, stands to reap a hefty $900M profit from its 53.3M share stake in Idenix Pharmaceuticals (IDIX +234%) in light of Merck's (MRK -0.1%) $3.85B offer ($24.50/share). This is a superb example of why he runs $27B in institutional money. Since 1983, his fund's average annual gain has been 17% versus the S&P 500's 11%.
In an all-cash deal, Merck (MRK) acquires Hep C drug maker Idenix Pharmaceuticals (IDIX) for $24.50/share ($3.85B). The company has an attractive portfolio of Hep C product candidates based on nucleotide/nucleoside chemistry and prodrug technologies.
In its Q4 13F, activist investor Sarissa Capital discloses it has a 5.05M-share (3.3%) stake in Idenix Pharmaceuticals (IDIX +1.8%). Shares initially jumped on the disclosure, but have quickly given back some of their gains.
Last year, Sarissa took part in a successful proxy battle against Vivus. The firm now has Ariad Pharmaceuticals in its sights.