Buy­out buzz swells for the gi­ant Bris­tol-My­ers af­ter Carl Ic­ahn makes an en­trance, stage left

Carl Ic­ahn, the ag­ing ac­tivist who’s prod­ded a se­ries of high-pro­file bio­phar­ma com­pa­nies in­to the arms of ea­ger buy­ers, has tak­en a stake in the high­ly stressed Bris­tol-My­ers Squibb, build­ing spec­u­la­tion that the trou­bled gi­ant could be in line for a buy­out — as im­prob­a­ble as that may sound to many.

Bris­tol-My­ers start­ed the day by an­nounc­ing that it added three new di­rec­tors and struck a $2 bil­lion stock buy­back deal in a pact with Jana Part­ners, an­oth­er ac­tivist which has been spurring Bris­tol-My­ers to take ac­tion to get out of the rut it’s found it­self in.

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