Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) has sent a letter to Imclone Systems (NASDAQ: IMCL) in response to yesterday’s rejection of its buyout offer. It said it is disappointed that the $60.00 bid was passed up for a highly conditional higher offer subject to due diligence. Bristol’s offer is not subject to due diligence. Bristol-Myers also said it will not make any alterations to its exclusive marketing rights for ERBITUX and the related compounds (including IMC-11F8).
As the letter states….."Notwithstanding ImClone’s receipt of ahighly conditional preliminary proposal from another party, we continueto look forward to engaging directly with ImClone and its financial andlegal advisors to discuss the merits of our all-cash offer, which isnot subject to due diligence or financing, to acquire the approximately83% of ImClone that we do not already own."
In short, Bristol-Myers is trying to start flexing its muscles now thatImClone and Carl Icahn have started showing face cards. ImClone is down1.4% at $66.95 today. Technically, this is no more than step-3 of along series of steps in an Icahn merger game.
Jon C. Ogg
September 11, 2008