Oxford Glyco jumps 12% on hopes for a rival bid

Oxford Glycosciences, the biotech company seeking an all-share deal with Cambridge Antibody Technology, could become the subject of a bid battle after it revealed yesterday that "a number of parties, including Celltech" had requested information on its business.

It is understood there have been three or four expressions of interest. Celltech, the UK's biggest biotech company, is considering making a cash offer. Analysts think the US antibody specialist Mederex, with whom OGS already collaborates, could also be interested.

Shares in Oxford Glycosciences rose 12 per cent to 192.5p on the possibility of an auction. CAT's offer now values OGS, whose chief executive is David Ebsworth, at £94m, or 168p a share. This is some way below its target's current market value of £107m as the market bets on a higher offer being made.

Any rival bidder must make its move before 11 March when shareholders are due to vote on the CAT-OGS merger.

Analysts were divided on the likelihood of Celltech entering the fray. Sam Fazeli, an industry analyst at Nomura, said: "The same technology synergy that is proposed for the CAT-OGS merger also exists for Celltech and OGS."

But Emma Palmer, at WestLB Panmure, said a deal could distract Celltech from its existing business, particularly as it is also searching for a new chief executive. "We feel the company may be better served by making product acquisitions," she said.

Celltech declined to comment on its interest in OGS, or on reports its new chief executive will be Goran Ando, the research and development director at Pharmacia.

Dan Mahony, at Morgan Stanley, expressed doubts about the rationale of a Celltech bid. "CAT-OGS makes a lot of sense as it brings expertise in certain areas and more clinical development experts. Celltech already has these things."

Peter Chambre, CAT's chief executive, emphasised that his offer was the only formal one on the table. He said: "OGS brings us a stronger pipeline, is a good research and development fit and gives us more financial power." It would create a company that "could compete with the top tier of biotech companies and give UK investors a second, strong publicly quoted biotech company to choose from," he said.

Celltech shares rose 7p to 338.25p.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Beverley James: Accounts Payable

£22,000 - £23,000: Beverley James: Are you looking for the opportunity to work...

Beverley James: Accounts Assistant

£30,000: Beverley James: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a person looki...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower