Auxilium turns down Endo, leaves door open
Auxilium Pharmaceuticals is giving Endo International the brush-off. The Chesterbrook, PA, drug manufacturer announced Monday that it had no interest in Endo's unsolicited $2.2-billion offer, and prefers to stick with the QLT acquisition-tax inversion deal it already has in place.
Auxilium said that its board was unanimous in its conclusion that Endo's offer was “not a superior proposal” compared to the QLT deal that still has yet to close, and which would give Auxilium a Canadian address and the tax benefits that go along with it. But it's not just that Auxilium's board likes what the QLT deal has on offer—Auxilium says in its refusal that Endo's $2.2 billion “significantly undervalues” the firm.
This does not mean Auxilium is completely against a deal with Endo or anyone else—the firm notes that its QLT deal still gives it the freedom to talk with other companies. Endo pounced on this bit of information in a statement, saying that its $2.2-billion offer still seems like a solid deal for patients, customers and employees and that “it is our strong preference to work collaboratively with Auxilium to realize the benefits of this transaction.”
Lobbying for more money is not a unique request, and Bloomberg noted last week that this may be just what Auxilium is getting at, but Pfizer's attempt to take over AstraZeneca, and AstraZeneca's fight for more money show that being open to talks does not necessarily end in a deal.