Human Genome Sciences said it had rejected an unsolicited bid worth around $2.6bn from long-time partner GlaxoSmithKline, marking a new takeover battle in a drugs sector that has been swept by M&A recently.
Human Genome said it did not believe the offer of $13 a share in cash reflected the value inherent in the company. It has hired Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse to assist with the exploration of strategic alternatives.
With 198.5m shares in issue, the bid would value Human Genome at around $2.6bn. The stock closed on Wednesday at $7.16.
A spokeswoman for GSK, Britain's biggest drugmaker, said the company would issue a statement shortly.
GSK has long been rumoured a potential acquirer of Human Genome, since the two companies already collaborate on a number of medicines, including Benlysta, the first new treatment for lupus in half a century.
City A.M. Reporter