M&A

Celgene shares jump as Bristol-Myers gains key support from proxy adviser for looming buyout vote

Bristol-Myers Squibb $BMY execs have won a pair of important endorsements for its big Celgene buyout. 

Institutional Shareholder Services, a shareholder adviser that holds forth on corporate governance matters, has come out in favor of the $74 billion acquisition, saying “the proposed transaction has sound strategic rationale and the valuation appears reasonable.” And they were joined by Glass Lewis.

Giovanni Caforio

That is music to the ears of Bristol-Myers CEO Giovanni Caforio, who’s had to listen to a chorus of criticism from critics at Starboard Value as well as his biggest shareholder — Wellington Management. That criticism has raised the almost unthinkable prospect that the deal might not go through, rare in the blue chip world.

Baird’s Brian Skorney offered a quick thumbs up, noting a big step toward completing the acquisition.

We think this is a clear positive for Celgene, as it will likely help move toward the majority needed in order to get the deal approved. With doubts about the likelihood of the deal going through, especially with multiple large BMY shareholders publicly opposing it, we view this as a major step toward approval of the transaction.

Celgene shares, which have lagged far behind the deal price as skeptics waited to see how this would play out, jumped 7.7% Friday morning. The shareholder vote at Bristol-Myers is slated for April 12.


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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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