I follow these message board discussions about a buyout and read the opinions, but have very mixed feelings about a buyout by Pfizer or anyone. My sentiments are based on:
Cons (reasons to not want a buyout)
(1) Given the great potential of MultiStem, the potential for it's use for so many indications, and the patent that Athersys holds for MAPC technology, there is potential for a huge appreciation in share price. With all due respect to those who day-trade, worrying about these short-term ups-and-downs of the share price in the near term is foolish. Even as soon as a year from now, this can be a 3x-4x gainer over the current price, and in a two to five year period...who know, 20+?
(2) Really, how do you put a dollar price on potential? Until there are some results from the trials, what is an accurate price Pfizer (or another) would offer and ATHX shareholders would accept? Even if the trials go well, which I personally believe will happen, what it the right price, given the many potential indications?
Pros (reasons to want a buyout)
(1) There would obviously be a price spike, but as stated above, how can you accurately monetize potential?
(2) The company would have financial stability, and would be able to drive the science forward. This to me is the most compelling argument FOR a buyout.
(3) As a follow-up on # 2, and I may be going with this statement alone, I consider the ATHX management and leadership as being simply outstanding. That said, they are also scientists with a passion for developing a product that can change medicine. Given that they are also major shareholders, a buyout would mean a huge, well-deserved pay day for them. Having made their money, and also probably then being compensated to work for Pfizer, they could turn their undivided attention to the science and development of MultiStem treatments (and perhaps then the 5HT2c Agonist Program.
The above reasons are why I would support a buyout if one were offered, but also why there is no hurry.
You know, that might actually prove true. Pfizer did kill of their own independent division of stem cell research not long after partnership with ATHX. Probably figure that ATHX will become their division.