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Sanofi Moves To Replace Medivation’s Board As New Buyers Rumored

Small drugmaker Medivation ( MDVN ) continued to battle  Sanofi ‘s ( SNY ) hostile takeover bid Wednesday as the latter tried to replace its board, while big biotechs Celgene ( CELG ) and Gilead Sciences ( GILD ) were said to be thinking of joining the fray. Sanofi proposed eight candidates “who are willing to fully and fairly evaluate all of Medivation’s strategic options,” which it believes Medivation’s current board did not do when it unanimously rejected Sanofi’s unsolicited $9.3 billion bid on April 29. Medivation responded with a statement urging shareholders to reject the attempt, which it called “a tactic for Sanofi to facilitate its substantially inadequate and opportunistically timed proposal to acquire Medivation.” While Sanofi is the only suitor that’s gone public, anonymous sources have been telling the media that a variety of other companies are thinking of making a bid. On May 9, Medivation reportedly signed non-disclosures agreements with Pfizer ( PFE ) and Amgen ( AMGN ), implying that it is open to being bought by somebody other than Sanofi. On Wednesday Bloomberg said that Celgene and Gilead were talking to advisors about the idea, though they hadn’t actually approached the company. Both Celgene and Gilead have been urged by investors and analysts to make a sizable acquisition — especially Gilead, as its massive hepatitis C franchise is already eroding in the face of competition. Medivation’s current $1 billion in 12-month sales wouldn’t make that big of an impact on Gilead’s $33 billion top line, but much of the interest comes from Medivation’s future prospects: its prostate-cancer drug Xtandi is still ramping while the company studies its use in other diseases, and it also has a few earlier-stage drugs in the pipeline. Medivation stock, which has lately gone tight after a sharp run-up amid the buyout speculation, was down a fraction, near 62, in late morning trading on the stock market today . Sanofi was up 2%, near 41. Gilead was flat, near 86, and Celgene was up 1%, near 105.

Medivation Reportedly Yielding To Buyer Interest; Stock Surges

Shares of rising biopharma player Medivation ( MDVN ) jumped to an 11-month high Monday on reports the company now is willing to sell itself. Citing an anonymous source, Reuters reported that Medivation had signed non-disclosure agreements with Pfizer ( PFE ) and Amgen ( AMGN ), both of which were previously rumored to be interested in buying the company, while Sanofi ( SNY ) went public with its uninvited $9.3 billion bid last month. It still isn’t certain that those companies will actually bid, Reuters said. Medivation stock was up modestly in morning trading on the stock market today , but shares surged after the report came out in the early afternoon, eventually closing up 4.3% at 62.59. Medivation had initially resisted being bought by anyone, and in late March it reportedly hired advisers to help it fend off such attempts. The reason was implied by CEO David Hung in his refusal of Sanofi’s offer , when he accused the French pharma major of taking advantage of “market dislocation” that he believed led the market to undervalue Medivation’s stock. Medivation’s value has continued to go up since then, taking the stock to within 5% of its 52-week high last May. With an IBD Composite Rating of 97, putting it among the top 3% of all stocks in key metrics such as sales and earnings growth, it sits at No. 49 on the IBD 50 list of top-performing stocks.

Forget Allergan: Pfizer Has Its Sights On This Cancer Drugmaker

Less than a month after Pfizer ( PFE ) scrapped its $160 billion takeover of Allergan ( AGN ) over new anti-inversion rules, the drug giant is eyeing a possible bid for cancer biotech Medivation ( MDVN ), Reuters reported late Tuesday. Pfizer has approached Medivation for talks, according to Reuters. That could lead to an offer that would top a $9.3 billion bid for Medivation from France’s Sanofi ( SNY ). Medivation has rejected Sanofi’s $52.50-share bid as undervaluing the company, which is best known for prostate cancer drug Xtandi. Medivation shares have been trading well above that Sanofi offer price, closing down 0.8% to 57.52 on the stock market today. Medivation rose above 60 late Tuesday on the Pfizer report. Pfizer stock rose 2.7% to 33.70 during the regular session, breaking out of a consolidation, after the pharmaceutical king reported its best quarterly earnings per share gain in more than six years. Pfizer’s 32% EPS rise , better than expected, benefited from several one-time factors, including its recent Hospira takeover.