Astellas Pharma has made an unsolicited offer to buy CV Therapeutics for roughly $1 billion. The company says that this proposal was originally sent to CV Therapeutics’ board on November 14 and then rejected six days later.
Astellas says that CV Therapeutics subsequently declined to enter discussions regarding such a transaction. Now, Astellas is publicly reiterating its intention to acquire the firm and gain access to its angina treatment, Ranexa. In February, the FDA expanded Ranexa labeling such that it may now be used as a first-line treatment of chronic angina alone or in combination with traditional therapies.
“We are enthusiastic about Ranexa but we believe it will be a significant challenge for CV Therapeutics to deliver the full value of Ranexa to your stockholders given CV Therapeutics’ limited commercial presence and the difficult macro environment,” noted Masafumi Nogimori, president and CEO of Astellas, in the letter he sent today to CV Therapeutics’ board. “We believe Astellas is better positioned to maximize the value of CV Therapeutics and Ranexa in particular by leveraging Astellas’ infrastructure and marketing expertise.” CV Therapeutics logged $30.3 million in Ranexa sales in the U.S. during the third quarter of 2008.
Astellas says that it will pay $16 per share in cash. CV Therapeutics’ stock shot up over 46% to open trading at $16.61. Astellas’ offer is 41% more than CV Therapeutics’ closing price yesterday and 71% over the firm’s closing price on November 13, the day before the original offer.
Even though Astellas’ proposal includes a sizeable premium, considering the prior rejection and CV Therapeutics’ current share price, Astellas may have to sweeten its bid to secure the takeover.