Biogen Idec Shares Push Upward on Down Day for Market: More Grist for the Takeover Mill

An after-market-hours report by the Financial Times‘ dealReporter yesterday evening on the bidding for Biogen Idec appears to have put wind in the firm’s stock today—as shares surged more than six points to $77.45 before settling down on another off day for Wall Street to close up $3.86 (nearly 5.5 percent) at $74.99.

Yesterday’s dealReporter seemed to rekindle the takeover rumor fires, asserting that “first round bids for Biogen Idec are due next week, with a list of front-runners likely to include Pfizer, Merck and Johnson & Johnson among other large pharmaceutical buyers…”

The article quoted unnamed sources as saying that Pfizer might have kicked things off a while back with an offer below the $80 per share price that has been floated as a likely target price. That, it said, was followed by Carl Icahn’s widely reported $23 billion bid, which dealReporter painted as a counter to the Pfizer offer. (That Icahn might have countered a Pfizer bid is something we had not heard before). The FT report also said that UK-based AstraZeneca could also be a bidder for Biogen Idec.

We contacted a Biogen Idec spokesperson, who said the company has not made any announcement about a timetable or deadline for bids. The FT account said that neither Icahn nor Pfizer would comment. So, what we have is a lot of speculation…and a higher Biogen Idec stock price. But as we’ve reported before, it will likely be months before the dust settles on any Biogen deal, if one ever materializes. In the meantime, look for a lot more rumors. Some of them might even be true.

Bob is Xconomy's founder and chairman. You can email him at Follow @bbuderi

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