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Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated Message Board

  • sterling9534 sterling9534 Mar 7, 2003 3:53 PM Flag


    At this price, I am surprised that Novartis has not been mentioned as a possible buyer--given its pralnacasn relationship, it would seem to make sense. James, gladpick, others--any thoughts?

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    • Looks like there are some pricey VRTX call options that are selling. If we get a spike up past 15, I may actually sell covered calls rather than sell outright.

    • I'd hang on for the high teens (I am averaged out at 16 and change, but I have made some decent money on the upswings...)
      By the way, gladpick, thanks for your thoughtful analysis (and corrections!)

    • I do not believe Boger with his big ego would be receptive to any takeover. He left Merck because they were not listening to his advice about getting more heavily involved in biotech research in the late 80's, which BTW i believe he was right. He likes to run his own show and that is why he has included poison pill clauses in VRTX's charter. So since Novartis needs to have a working relationship with VRTX in order to commercialize Pralnacasan I do not believe they would be willing to get into a proxy fight with BOger. I think though other pharmas with no relationship with VRTX, even with the existence of poison pills which could be fought off, could give it a try. At these prices for the life of me I do not understand why they have not already. It would take them a fortune to build the phase I and II potentials that VRTX has its its pipeline, far more than what they have to pay to acquire VRTX.

      • 3 Replies to gladpick
      • <<So since (aventis) needs to have a working relationship with VRTX in order to commercialize Pralnacasan>>

        Why do they need vertex to commercialize pralnacasan? I think it was a straight outlicense for royalties.

        Proxy fights in biotech are almost non-existant. Its not even worth debating as a possibility. If vertex sells out it will be by their own decision.

        I do think a future buyout is very possible but probably not until vertex has had a greater measure of success, e.g. no way he'd sell out when the stock is anywhere near $10.

      • Actually we both mean Aventis-- that is the company that is collaborating with VRTX on pralnacasn.

        AS you know Novartis is one the other several companies that has collaboration agreements with VRTX. They paid $15M already and pay up to $200M in reasearch funding over 6 years starting from May 2000 plus an additional $400M milestone payments and cost reimbursements. These are all based on the development of 8 drug candidates.

        Again I doubt if either one of these 2 firms would be willing to initiate a hostile takeover. I believe the possibilities may be better for other major pharmas that do not have a relationship with VRTX. Cheers

      • Why would anybody buy VRTX now - stock is in a
        long term decline pattern, but still selling above book value, company is losing money hand over fist. They'll wait a couple of years and
        when VRTX is in a truly desperate state selling at much lower price then you can expect it. Besides VRTX is now accruing mounting tax loss carry-forwards. To
        incorporate vrtx into a profitable company would mean absorbing these losses and the carriforwards stop growing; should they wait
        the carryforwards would grow substantially and
        would shelter the acquiring company's income from taxes for many years to come. Bottomline -
        no takeover for sure for the next 2 years at least.

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