Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) and Inhibitex, Inc. (Nasdaq:INHX) have signed a definitive agreement under which Bristol-Myers Squibb will acquire Inhibitex for $26.00 per share in cash pursuant to a cash tender offer and second step merger. The transaction, with an aggregate purchase price of approximately $2.5 billion, has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies. The board of directors of Inhibitex has agreed to recommend that Inhibitex’s shareholders tender their shares in the tender offer. In addition, shareholders with beneficial ownership of approximately 17% of Inhibitex’s common stock have entered into agreements with Bristol-Myers Squibb to support the transaction and to tender their shares in the tender offer.
Inhibitex is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of innovative products that can treat or prevent serious infections, whose primary focus is on the development of nucleotide/nucleoside analogs for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV). Its lead HCV asset is INX-189, an oral nucleotide polymerase (NS5B) inhibitor in Phase II development that has exhibited potent antiviral activity, a high barrier to resistance and pan-genotypic coverage. Nucleotides/nucleosides are emerging as an important class of antivirals that may play a critical role as the backbone of future direct-acting antiviral-only combination approaches to HCV treatment.
“The acquisition of Inhibitex builds on Bristol-Myers Squibb’s long history of discovering, developing and delivering innovative new medicines in virology and enriches our portfolio of investigational medicines for hepatitis C,” said Lamberto Andreotti, chief executive officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “There is significant unmet medical need in hepatitis C. This acquisition represents an important investment in the long-term growth of the company.”
“This transaction puts INX-189 and the Company’s other infectious disease assets in the hands of an organization that can more optimally develop them and which believes as strongly as we do in INX-189’s potential in the treatment of chronic HCV,” said Russell Plumb, President and Chief Executive Officer of Inhibitex. “Bristol-Myers Squibb’s expertise in antiviral drug development, and its existing complementary portfolio, will assure that the potential of INX-189 is realized as part of future oral combination therapies for millions of patients in need around the world.”
“Bristol-Myers Squibb continues to drive advances in the field of hepatitis C research and development through internal development and selective partnerships,” said Elliott Sigal, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president, chief scientific officer and president, R&D, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “The addition of Inhibitex’s nucleotide polymerase inhibitor to our own promising portfolio, which includes other direct-acting antivirals, brings additional options to develop all-oral regimens with better cure rates, shorter duration of therapy and lower toxicity than the current standard of care.”
The transaction is expected to be dilutive to earnings for Bristol-Myers Squibb through 2016, with an expected impact on earnings per share of approximately $0.04 in 2012 and approximately $0.05 in 2013.
Under the terms of the definitive agreement, Bristol-Myers Squibb will commence a cash tender offer to purchase all of the outstanding shares of Inhibitex’s common stock for $26.00 per share. The closing of the tender offer is subject to customary terms and conditions, including the tender of a number of shares that constitutes at least a majority of Inhibitex’s outstanding shares of common stock (on a fully diluted basis) and expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. The agreement also provides for the parties to effect, subject to customary conditions, a merger to be completed following the completion of the tender offer which would result in all shares not tendered in the tender offer being converted into the right to receive $26.00 per share in cash. The merger agreement contains a provision under which Inhibitex has agreed not to solicit any competing offers for the company. Bristol-Myers Squibb will finance the acquisition from its existing cash resources. The companies expect the tender offer to close approximately thirty days after commencement of the tender offer.
Citi is serving as financial advisor to Bristol-Myers Squibb in connection with the acquisition and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is its legal advisor. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC is serving as financial advisor to Inhibitex in connection with the acquisition and Dechert LLP is its legal advisor.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases.
Inhibitex, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing products to prevent and treat serious infectious diseases. The Company’s clinical-stage pipeline includes three Phase 2 development programs: INX-189, a nucleotide polymerase inhibitor in development for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C infections, FV-100, a nucleoside inhibitor in development for the reduction of shingles-associated pain, and Aurexis, a humanized monoclonal antibody in development for the treatment of serious S. aureus bloodstream infections. The Company also has other HCV nucleotide polymerase inhibitors in preclinical development and has licensed the use of its proprietary MSCRAMM® protein platform to Pfizer for the development of a staphylococcal vaccine, which is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial. For additional information about the Company, please visit www.inhibitex.com. Inhibitex®, MSCRAMM® and Aurexis® are registered trademarks of Inhibitex, Inc. Source: World Pharma News