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ImClone Extends Deadline For Mystery Bidder

This article was originally published in The Pink Sheet Daily

Executive Summary

Name of bidder will be released whether ImClone accepts its offer or not.

ImClone has heightened the drama a notch in its potential acquisition by extending the deadline for its mystery bidder's due diligence.

ImClone had declined a roughly $4.5 billion, $60 per share, bid by Bristol-Myers Squibb Sept. 10, telling the Bristol board that it had in hand a $70 per share cash offer from an unnamed "large Pharma" firm, subject to due diligence (1 (Also see "Mystery Date: ImClone Rejects Bristol For Unnamed $70 Per Share Bidder" - Pink Sheet, 10 Sep, 2008.)).

The due diligence deadline was Sept. 28.

However, in a Sept. 29 release, the firm said, "the large Pharma company that had made an offer to acquire ImClone at $70 per share, subject to due diligence, but not financing, has informed ImClone that by 11:59 pm on Wednesday, October 1, 2008, they will either make a proposal, that is no longer subject to due diligence, or withdraw."

Bristol CEO James Cornelius and Carl Icahn, ImClone chairman, have traded barbs in letters over the past few weeks, with Cornelius upping its offer to $62 and per share while outlining a plan for a hostile bid.

Icahn responded that the offer "seems absurd."

In a move indicative of the escalating hostility in this negotiation, Bristol's lone representative, John Celentano, resigned from the ImClone board of directors Sept. 22.

Bristol and ImClone are partners in cancer drug Erbitux (cetuximab). Bristol already owns about 17 percent of ImClone shares.

ImClone said it would name the mystery bidder after the due diligence deadline, whether or not it accepts its offer. "As has been mutually agreed, if they withdraw and negotiations have thus been ended, the name for the company will be disclosed," according to the Sept. 29 release.

-Pamela Taulbee ([email protected])

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