Glaxo takes £1.6bn Genome bid fully hostile

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The Independent Online

Britain's biggest drugs firm, GlaxoSmithKline, yesterday stormed ahead with its $2.6bn (£1.6bn) hostile takeover of United States biotech Human Genome Sciences, waving aside the board to take its bid direct to shareholders.

Glaxo is Human Genome's major partner, working together on Benlysta, the first new lupus drug approved in the US in half a century.

But the biotech last month rejected GSK's $13-a-share cash offer, which was more than 80 per cent higher than its unaffected closing share price, saying the bid price did "not reflect the value" of HGS.

The US firm instead hired Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse to launch a strategic review, which included considering putting itself up for sale. Yesterday, however, GSK showed it wasn't prepared to wait and took its bid direct to investors, saying its offer was "full and fair".

The drugmaker, headed by Sir Andrew Witty added: "GSK's participation in the [review] process is unnecessary as its offer is not conditioned on due diligence or financing and can be completed expeditiously. It is important for HGS shareholders to understand that GSK is committed to proceeding with its offer.

"There is clear strategic and financial logic to this combination and HGS shareholders should have the opportunity to decide for themselves on the merits of the offer."

Glaxo is being advisedby Lazard and Morgan Stanley.