Behzad Aghazadeh, Avoro Capital managing partner

Avoro Cap­i­tal, the deal killer be­hind the Seagen-Im­munomedics blowup, has turned its eyes on Mer­ck­'s Ac­celeron buy­out

Mer­ck’s pro­posed buy­out of Ac­celeron Phar­ma rep­re­sents a ma­jor bolt-on op­por­tu­ni­ty as the drug­mak­er looks to a fu­ture with­out megablock­buster Keytru­da dri­ving sales. But one of Ac­celeron’s ac­tivist in­vestors isn’t pleased with the price tag of the deal, and his­to­ry says that could be bad news for the buy­out.

In a let­ter to Ac­celeron share­hold­ers, Avoro Cap­i­tal claimed Mer­ck’s pro­posed $11.5 bil­lion buy­out at a 38% pre­mi­um “dras­ti­cal­ly un­der­val­ues” the biotech, giv­en pre­mi­ums on sim­i­lar deals in the re­cent past. Avoro owns 7% of shares in Ac­celeron, which has part­nered with Bris­tol My­ers Squibb on ane­mia drug Re­blozyl and so­tater­cept, a Phase III can­di­date for rare car­dio dis­ease pul­monary ar­te­r­i­al hy­per­ten­sion (PAH) that will serve as the cen­ter­piece of the Mer­ck ac­qui­si­tion.

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