Eli Lilly execs were in a rush when they sat down with Loxo CEO Josh Bilenker 5 days ahead of last Christmas. They wanted to buy his company and were prepared to pay $230 a share. But it had to be done now; CEO Dave Ricks wanted to announce the buyout on the morning of January 7, just as the annual JPMorgan confab got underway.
David Ricks They got their deal. Ten days later they had Ricks' take-it-or-leave it offer of $235 — $8 billion in cash — on the table. And Bilenker and his board took it. A week later, Lilly made their splash, as planned, without any of the usual back and forth involved as a biotech tries to negotiate the very best price — often by trying to ignite an auction.
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