Royalty Pharma's bid to buy Elan Corp has now lapsed following votes at the latter's emergency general meeting but it is still keen to work out a deal.
Earlier this month, Royalty offered $13 per share, up from $12.50, plus an additional $2.50 per share in contingent value rights, depending on the performance of Tysabri (natalizumab), the multiple sclerosis drug Elan sold its stake in to partner Biogen Idec in return for $3.25 billion and royalties. The bid was also conditional upon Elan shareholders rejecting four resolutions at the aforementioned EGM.
At the meeting, stockholders approved a share buyback plan, but voted against a royalties alliance with Theravance, the acquisition of Austria's AOP Orphan Pharmaceuticals and a plan to spin-off its early-stage Alzheimer’s drug ELND005 into a new company called Speranza. Support for just one of the proposals has scuppered Royalty's bid.
However, this did not prevent Royalty chairman Rory Riggs from publishing an open letter to Elan's board, saying that “by rejecting what we believe were hastily-arranged, value-destructive transactions, Elan shareholders are sending you a clear message rejecting your ‘strategic plan'." He claimed that they "want you to maximise shareholder value and they want you to do it now".
Last week, the Irish drugmaker said it was willing to listen to offers and Mr Riggs said "we welcome that you are now contemplating a sale of Elan but urge you to engage with Royalty today, rather than undertaking a lengthy, and we think likely fruitless, effort to find a buyer willing to offer more than we are". As a result of Royalty's initial interest, expressed in February, its interest, Elan has "effectively, been up for sale for nearly four months", he added, and "if there were other bona fide buyers who were interested…one would expect them to have emerged publicly in that time".