DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
Facet Biotech Corp. (FACT) is allowing its two biggest shareholders to increase their stakes without triggering a "poison pill" provision, amid its efforts to ward off Biogen Idec's (BIIB) $420 million acquisition bid.
Facet President and Chief Executive Faheem Hasnain said, "We are pleased that our two largest stockholders, who collectively own 28.7% of shares outstanding, have informed us that they do not intend to tender their shares into Biogen Idec's offer and that they want greater flexibility to acquire additional shares of the company."
Facet shares were recently down 3.5% at $16.16, while Biogen gained 1.5% to $50.16.
There is a 12 a.m. EST Thursday deadline for Facet holders to tender their shares in support of Biogen's $17.50 a share offer. If a majority doesn't, Biogen said it will walk away.
Hasnain reiterated Wednesday that Biogen's boosted offer is inadequate and undervalues the company, adding that Facet is open to opportunities that would provide full and fair value for our stockholders." It again stated its offer to engage in due diligence talks with Biogen Idec, along with third parties.
The cash-rich California-based drug developer and Biogen have worked together since 2005 on treatments for multiple sclerosis and solid tumors. Facet contends that Biogen is trying to cheaply acquire the full rights to daclizumab, a multiple-sclerosis treatment in development by the companies.
-By Tess Stynes, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2481; Tess.Stynes@dowjones.com;