Look­ing to make a splash at JP­Mor­gan, Eli Lil­ly rushed to put its $8B buy­out deal to­geth­er for Loxo in 10 days

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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